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

The Senate rejected an effort by Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate GOP eyes probes into 2016 issues 'swept under the rug' Hillicon Valley: Mueller delivers report, ending investigation | FEMA exposed info of 2.3M disaster survivors | Facebook asks judge to toss DC privacy lawsuit | Trump picks his first CTO | FCC settles lawsuit over net neutrality records Transparency advocate says government agencies face 'use it or lose it' spending 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 CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition - Dems look for traction following Barr-Mueller findings Senate rejection of Green New Deal won't slow Americans' desire for climate action Senate GOP poised to go 'nuclear' on Trump picks MORE (Maine) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiRed dresses displayed around American Indian museum to memorialize missing, murdered native women Juan Williams: Don't rule out impeaching Trump The 25 Republicans who defied Trump on emergency declaration 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) ManchinFCC claims on broadband access under scrutiny Senate gears up for Green New Deal vote Overnight Energy: Green New Deal vote set to test Dem unity | Renewables on track to phase out coal, study finds | EPA chief reportedly recuses himself from mine review 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 DurbinSenate GOP eyes probes into 2016 issues 'swept under the rug' Senate gears up for Green New Deal vote Senate Dems petition Saudi king to release dissidents, US citizen 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.