McConnell: Defunding Planned Parenthood must wait for new president

McConnell: Defunding Planned Parenthood must wait for new president
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellConservatives wage assault on Mueller report Overnight Energy: Interior reverses decision at heart of Zinke criminal probe | Dem divisions deepen over approach to climate change | GM to add 400 workers to build electric cars Trump: Green New Deal 'the most preposterous thing' and 'easy to beat' MORE (R-Ky.) says that defunding Planned Parenthood will have to wait for a new commander in chief in 2017. 


“The president’s made it very clear he’s not going to sign any bill that includes defunding of Planned Parenthood, so that’s another issue that awaits a new president, hopefully with a different point of view about Planned Parenthood,” McConnell said Monday on the Kentucky station WYMT’s “Issues and Answers.”

Defunding Planned Parenthood has become a leading cause among some Republicans in the wake of controversial undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the price of fetal tissue for medical research. Planned Parenthood, while apologizing for the tone, denies any wrongdoing, saying officials are discussing legal compensation for expenses and pointing to an analysis that the videos are heavily edited. 

McConnell said that the Senate would vote again on defunding Planned Parenthood after a failed Senate vote last month, but he said that the votes are not there. 

“We just don’t have the votes to get the outcome that we’d like,” he said. “Again, the president has the pen to sign it. If he doesn’t sign it, it doesn’t happen. But, yeah, we voted on that already in the Senate, we’ll vote on it again, but I would remind all of your viewers the way you make a law in this country, the Congress has to pass it and the president has to sign it.”

However, McConnell will be under pressure from members, like Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCNN town halls put network at center of Dem primary The Memo: Trump can't let go of McCain grudge Michael Bennet is close to deciding on possible presidential bid MORE (R-Texas), and other presidential candidates not to include any Planned Parenthood funding in the larger government spending bill this fall. If President Obama then vetoed that bill, as expected, there would be a government shutdown. 

McConnell vowed last month that the government will not shut down over the issue, noting the failure of previous Republican efforts and saying, “We’ve been down this path before.”

Still, even some establishment Republicans have said they would have trouble voting for a spending bill that included Planned Parenthood funds. 

The House could also vote on a stand-alone bill to defund Planned Parenthood when lawmakers return this month from the August recess, in an effort to lessen pressure to defund the group in the spending bill. 

Hearings are also expected from the House committees investigating the group.