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

The Senate rejected an effort by Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate ratifies long-stalled tax treaty On The Money: Senators unload on Facebook cryptocurrency | Tech giants on defensive at antitrust hearing | Democrats ask Labor Department to investigate Amazon warehouses The buck stops here: How to restore accountability to the federal regulatory system 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 CollinsTrump angry more Republicans haven't defended his tweets: report Republicans scramble to contain Trump fallout The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump digs in ahead of House vote to condemn tweet MORE (Maine) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiOvernight Defense: Highlights from Defense pick's confirmation hearing | Esper spars with Warren over ethics | Sidesteps questions on Mattis vs. Trump | Trump says he won't sell F-35s to Turkey Epstein charges show Congress must act to protect children from abuse PBS premieres first nationally distributed kids' show with Native American lead 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) ManchinTrump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand Kentucky Democrat says primary challenge to McGrath 'might be helpful' McConnell's Democratic challenger McGrath backtracks on Kavanaugh comments 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 DurbinRepublicans scramble to contain Trump fallout Trump administration denies temporary immigrant status to Venezuelans in US McConnell says Trump is not a racist, but calls for better rhetoric 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.