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

The Senate rejected an effort by Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGOP braces for Trump's emergency declaration Senate approves border bill that prevents shutdown Senate confirms Trump pick William Barr as new attorney general 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 CollinsGOP braces for Trump's emergency declaration DOJ warns White House that national emergency will likely be blocked: report On The Money: Trump to sign border deal, declare emergency to build wall | Senate passes funding bill, House to follow | Dems promise challenge to emergency declaration MORE (Maine) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiGOP braces for Trump's emergency declaration GOP advances rules change to speed up confirmation of Trump nominees Senate votes to extend key funding mechanism for parks 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) ManchinSenate confirms Trump pick William Barr as new attorney general GOP wants to pit Ocasio-Cortez against Democrats in the Senate Senate poised to confirm Trump’s attorney general pick 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 DurbinGOP advances rules change to speed up confirmation of Trump nominees GOP leader presses Trump to agree to border deal Trump divides Democrats with warning of creeping socialism 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.