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

The Senate rejected an effort by Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending House Freedom Caucus votes to condemn Amash's impeachment comments Bolton emerges as flashpoint in GOP debate on Iran 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 CollinsDem senator: Many Republicans 'privately expressed concerns' about Mueller findings Congress: Support legislation to defend Medicare home health  The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition — Trump: GOP has `clear contrast' with Dems on immigration MORE (Maine) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiOvernight Health Care — Presented by Campaign for Accountability — House passes drug pricing bills amid ObamaCare row | Senate Republicans running away from Alabama abortion law | Ocasio-Cortez confronts CEO over K drug price tag Senate Republicans running away from Alabama abortion law Bipartisan senators unveil measure to end surprise medical bills 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) ManchinLabor head warns of 'frightening uptick' in black lung disease among miners Labor leader: Trump has stopped erosion of coal jobs Overnight Energy: States fight Trump rollback of Obama lightbulb rules | Greens seek hearing over proposed rule on energy efficiency tests | Top Dem asks GAO to investigate climate threat 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 DurbinLet's stop treating student borrowers like second-class citizens Trump's immigration push faces Capitol Hill buzzsaw Hillicon Valley: Trump takes flak for not joining anti-extremism pact | Phone carriers largely end sharing of location data | Huawei pushes back on ban | Florida lawmakers demand to learn counties hacked by Russians | Feds bust 0M cybercrime group 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.