Forty-one senators have pledged to filibuster any bipartisan spending bill that includes an amendment to strip federal funding from Planned Parenthood, threatening an impasse with House conservatives.
The group, led by Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerHarry Reid, political pugilist and longtime Senate majority leader, dies Congress can prevent another Jan. 6 by updating a key elections law First senator formally endorses Bass in LA mayoral bid MORE (D-Calif.), includes thirty-nine Democratic senators and two Independents, Sens. Joe Lieberman (Conn.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocrats call on Biden to step up virus response We are America's independent contractors, and we are terrified Overnight Health Care — Biden's Supreme Court setback MORE (Vt.).
It’s just large enough to sustain a filibuster to block any spending bill that cuts Planned Parenthood funding from passing the upper chamber.
Congress is trying to reach an agreement on a spending bill for the remainder of fiscal year 2011. The current continuing resolution keeping the government operational runs through April 8.
The group outlined their opposition in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidAfter the loss of three giants of conservation, Biden must pick up the mantle Photos of the Week: Voting rights, former Sen. Harry Reid and snowy owls Black Democrats hammer Manchin for backing filibuster on voting rights MORE (D-Nev.) and GOP leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats make voting rights push ahead of Senate consideration Hogan won't say if he will file to run for Senate by Feb. 22 deadline Voting rights, Trump's Big Lie, and Republicans' problem with minorities MORE (Ky.), asking Reid and McConnell to “stand with us against extreme proposals by some members of the House to eliminate support for women’s health and family planning programs and providers that service millions of women and families.”
H.R. 1, the package of spending cuts the House passed in February, would eliminate the Title X family planning program.
The lawmakers also said they would “oppose the provision in the House-passed continuing resolution that cuts Planned Parenthood health centers off from federal funds used to provide cancer screenings, birth control and other preventative health care services to three million Americans every year.”
“Without access to these services, many of these women will be unable to get preventive screenings, be at far greater risk for diseases such as cancer and will face more unintended pregnancies,” they wrote.
Several Republican senators have already voiced opposition to the House cuts.
Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiDemocrats make voting rights push ahead of Senate consideration Clyburn says he's worried about losing House, 'losing this democracy' The fates of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump MORE (R-Alaska) wrote a letter to Senate Appropriations Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and ranking member Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranBottom line Bottom line Alabama zeroes in on Richard Shelby's future MORE (R-Miss.) stating their belief that “Planned Parenthood provides vital services to those in need.”
Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsVoting rights, Trump's Big Lie, and Republicans' problem with minorities More than 30 million families to lose child tax credit checks starting this weekend Sinema scuttles hopes for filibuster reform MORE (R-Maine) has also said she would oppose elimination of Title X funding.
Republicans are facing major pressure from conservative activists to keep the cuts intact. The anti-abortion-rights group Susan B. Anthony List released statements Monday from five potential Republican presidential candidates voicing their support for the amendment, proposed by Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.).
Reid has already declared the Planned Parenthood rider would not be part of a final deal with the House on 2011 spending levels.
—Jordan Fabian contributed.
Correction: Sen. Thad Cochran did not sign the Murkowski letter on Planned Parenthood. Incorrect information appeared in an earlier version of this story.