Senate

GOP senator: Don’t link Planned Parenthood to ObamaCare repeal

Moderate Republican Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) is signaling she doesn’t want congressional efforts to repeal ObamaCare tied to ending federal funding for Planned Parenthood.  

“Obviously I’m not happy to hear that the Speaker wants to include defunding of Planned Parenthood, an extremely controversial issue, in the package,” Collins told reporters on Thursday. 
 
But she stopped short of saying the provision, if included, would force her to vote against the measure, pledging that she would “wait and see what happens.” 
 
{mosads}
 
Republicans are using reconciliation, a budget tactic that will require only 50 Senate votes instead of 60, to repeal ObamaCare. They have a 52-seat majority; no Democrat has said they will vote for repeal. 
 
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told reporters earlier Thursday that cutting off federal funding for the women’s health organization would be included in the House’s repeal measure. 

“Planned Parenthood legislation will be in our reconciliation bill,” Ryan said, though he didn’t provide additional details. 

Collins added on Thursday that she believes there are a “significant number” of House Republicans, led by Rep. Charlie Dent (Pa.), who don’t support linking Planned Parenthood defunding to the reconciliation bill. 

Collins paired up with GOP Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Mark Kirk (Ill.) in 2015 to try to strip a provision defunding Planned Parenthood from the Senate’s ObamaCare repeal bill. 

Collins said Thursday she “may well” offer a similar amendment to the Senate’s new version, but stressed that she couldn’t predict what would be in the final legislation or what would pass the House. 

Senate GOP leadership has given few details on what will be in their repeal bill, but Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) told reporters this week that the repeal effort would be “very similar” to 2015’s. 

Tags Lisa Murkowski Mark Kirk Mitch McConnell Paul Ryan Susan Collins
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