Senate

Dems to try to remove Planned Parenthood language from ObamaCare bill

Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Tuesday that Democrats will try to remove language from a GOP bill repealing ObamaCare that would defund Planned Parenthood. 

“Absolutely,” he told reporters when asked about the matter. 

{mosads}The Senate could take up the GOP bill as soon as this week. 

Republicans face challenges in getting the measure out of the Senate however, given demands from some conservatives that the measure go further than a similar bill in the House that stopped short of fully repealing ObamaCare.

Another challenge for the GOP is the Planned Parenthood language. Some centrist Republicans do not want to defund the organization, which provides abortion services. 

Republicans only need 51 votes to move the legislation under special rules known as budget reconciliation that prevent the minority from filibustering. But President Obama is expected to veto the measure if it gets to his desk. 

Senators will be able to offer amendments to the legislation as part of a vote-a-rama. 

Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Democrats would have a “small number” of amendments, saying that “they’re going to be good amendments.” 

Durbin, the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat, refused to detail what else his caucus would offer to the ObamaCare legislation. 

“I’m not going to give that away so they can be prepared. The element of surprise is critical,” he said, when asked what Democrats would consider a “good” amendment. 

Senate Republican leadership projected confidence on Tuesday that they would be able to get the legislation through the Senate. 

McConnell suggested it was more about holding the president accountable despite his expected veto. 

“Obviously, we are not anticipating a presidential signature, but I think the president should have to take credit for the debacle that this legislation has created,” he told reporters. 

Senators are hoping to wrap up their work on the ObamaCare legislation by Thursday, though Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) suggested they could finish early if they can get cooperation. 

“We just need consent,” he said, while noting that he’s unsure how many amendments will be offered. “My hope is that later this afternoon we will and then we will conclude by tomorrow evening.”

Tags Dick Durbin Harry Reid John Cornyn
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