House Speaker Paul Ryan said Tuesday during a press conference that “Planned Parenthood is not funded” in the budget reconciliation bill that Republicans should be able to get through the Senate with only 51 votes.
Ryan differentiated between the omnibus appropriations bill – which Republicans negotiated with Democrats – and the budget reconciliation bill, and said the former requires 60 votes in the Senate, while the latter only requires 51 votes.
“Look at what all our pro-life groups are saying,” Ryan said. “They’re saying that Planned Parenthood legislation needs to be in the reconciliation bill – as it is – because that’s how you get it into law.”
We always knew that it takes 60 votes to pass an appropriations bill through the Senate. This bill does not have funding for Planned Parenthood. That’s important. The reconciliation bill advances the pro-life cause even further. So, no Planned Parenthood funding in here. And, by the way, [HHS Secretary] Tom Price is now the person who approves grants that go out to the states. So, we feel very comfortable we are working hand in glove with the administration to advance our pro-life priorities.
So, number one – they’re advanced here. We keep all our Hyde Amendment riders. And then our reconciliation bill – that’s the bill that you don’t need 60 votes on – that’s the bill that you don’t need to have Democrats with, and that’s the bill that where we’re advancing our cause even further, and that’s why these two efforts in conjunction with one another advance our cause and our principles quite a bit.
In a press release, Ryan’s office wrote Americans “should know” that the omnibus bill Republicans agreed to “protects life,” but only provides reference to the Hyde Amendment as proof of that claim.
“The bill reaffirms the Hyde amendment and prohibits federal funding of abortions,” Ryan’s office asserts. “It also specifically limits the District of Columbia from using federal funds for abortion in the district.”
The Family Research Council provided further explanation:
For those of you reading the media reports that the GOP didn’t cut Planned Parenthood funding in the omnibus, there’s a reason for that. A bill like this one requires 60 votes, whereas the budget reconciliation measure — which is how Republicans are handling the repeal of Obamacare and the defunding of Planned Parenthood — only needs 51. (And, as most people know by now, that same language already has a track record of success, passing Congress in 2015.) What’s more, adding that provision as a rider on discretionary spending bills like this one wouldn’t affect the mandatory spending programs, which also finance Planned Parenthood. Republicans are committed to severing ties with the group, but the omnibus isn’t the tool to do it. Until then, we’re keeping up the fight for a plan that recognizes: abortion isn’t health care!
Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser also said in a statement, “A majority (53.3 percent) of Americans support redirecting Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding to community health centers that offer a full range of primary and preventative care but do not perform or promote abortion.”
“With pro-life Republican majorities in both houses, it is incredibly disappointing that any Republican spending bill would contain continued funding for Planned Parenthood,” she added. “This makes it imperative that Republicans also move quickly on a reconciliation bill that redirects the abortion giant’s funding to community health centers.”