Senate rejects Paul's effort to strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding

The Senate rejected an effort by Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulRand Paul calls for probe of Democrats over Ukraine letter Sunday Show Preview: Trump's allies and administration defend decision on Syria Ana Navarro clashes with Rand Paul in fiery exchange: 'Don't mansplain!' MORE (R-Ky.) to attach a provision blocking federal funding for Planned Parenthood to a massive government spending bill.

Senators voted 45-48 on Paul’s amendment, with 60 votes needed to add the provision to the spending bill. GOP Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsFurious Republicans prepare to rebuke Trump on Syria McConnell tightlipped as impeachment furor grows Congress set for showdown with Trump over Kurds MORE (Maine) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiMurkowski warns against rushing to conclusions on Trump impeachment GOP requests update on criminal referrals prompted by 2018 Kavanaugh probe Republicans show signs of discomfort in defense of Trump   MORE (Alaska) voted with Democrats to oppose the amendment. 

The vote came after Paul was initially blocked from bringing up his amendment. Leadership has agreed to block “poison pill” provisions, which would threaten the bipartisan support for the Defense-Education-Labor-Health and Human Services appropriations bill. 

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Paul’s amendment would prevent federal funding from going to the organization and others that provide abortions.

"I will never apologize for standing up for life. If it took exposing the preference of so many in my own party to continue reckless spending over protecting the innocent, it was a fight worth having,” Paul said in a statement after the vote. 
 
Paul had lashed out at Republican leadership from the Senate floor earlier Thursday accusing them of blocking him from getting a vote. 
 
"The question is, what is more important to these Republicans? Saving lives or spending money?” he asked. 

Republicans argued that it was Democrats initially blocking Paul from getting a vote because GOP leadership wouldn't give Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by USAA — Ex-Ukraine ambassador testifies Trump pushed for her ouster GOP requests update on criminal referrals prompted by 2018 Kavanaugh probe Fallout from Kavanaugh confirmation felt in Washington one year later MORE (D-W.Va.) a vote on a separate amendment. 

Despite Republicans having control of the White House and both houses of Congress, they've been unable to cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood. 

House Republicans included a provision stripping federal funding for the organization in the Health and Human Services bill that cleared the Appropriations Committee.

But getting a similar provision in a Senate bill was always an uphill battle because of the Democratic support needed to approve appropriations bills. 

Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenators take fundraising efforts to Nats playoff games Overnight Health Care: Watchdog finds DEA allowed more opioids even as overdose deaths rose | Judge temporarily blocks Georgia abortion law | Three states report more vaping deaths | Dem proposes new fix for surprise medical bills During impeachment storm, senators cross aisle to lessen mass incarceration MORE (D-Ill.) noted ahead of the Senate's vote the abortion was a "divisive issue" and that he would oppose Paul's amendment. 

"Many people have different strongly held ... beliefs on this particular issue," he said. 

Updated at 8:09 p.m.