Today, the Senate defeated a motion to proceed to a vote on a Continuing Resolution (CR) that would fund the government until December 11, 2015, but provide no funding for Planned Parenthood in FY2016.
The 47-52 vote fell far short of the 60 yes votes needed to proceed to a vote on the CR. Eight Republican Senators joined 42 Democrats and two Independents in voting against the motion. Only one Democrat (Sen. Joe Manchin, D-WVA) voted to proceed.
Even if the Senate had passed a CR that defunded Planned Parenthood, the president would not have signed the bill. The White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) that threatened a veto of any CR that defunds Planned Parenthood or any other so-called “policy riders.”
With a government shutdown looming on Midnight Wednesday, September 30th, Sen. McConnell will propose a “clean” CR until December 11th. The Senate is expected to begin debate on the CR on Monday.
If the Senate passes a CR early next week, the House only have a day or two to act quickly to keep the government open after September 30th. This time constraint puts pressure on Speaker Boehner come up with a majority vote on a “clean” CR. Sentiment in the House among Republicans appears divided on including a provision to defund Planned Parenthood in a CR. Thirty-one Republicans have pledged to vote against a CR that includes funding for Planned Parenthood. On the other hand, 11 Republican freshman stated their opposition to shutting down the government over such a policy dispute. Democrats appear overwhelmingly to support a clean CR. The question will be how to put together enough votes by next Wednesday to keep the government open.