Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is coming under fire from his home state colleague, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)—a GOP presidential candidate—as well, not just from Paul’s 2016 rival Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).
Paul tried to get the floor to stand up and offer an amendment to defund Planned Parenthood and another one to arm servicemen and women on military bases. He intended to offer these measures as amendments to the highway bill that is currently on the Senate floor. Whoever was presiding over the floor refused to recognize Paul to offer his amendments.
Paul has been speaking out on both of these subjects for quite some time, and since the Senate is now taking up what is considered a “must pass” piece of legislation, funding the country’s highway and mass transit systems—a massive bill that spends hundreds of billions of dollars over the next 10 years—it’s an opportunity for senators to get things onto it that can further whatever their agenda might be. Of course, as Cruz has exposed all day Friday, McConnell has used the bill to reauthorize the crony capitalist Export Import Bank. But McConnell is blocking using it to defund Planned Parenthood or to block sanctuary cities or to arm military officers on base.
Senate leaders instead of using that as a vehicle to fight for the unborn and for gun rights to protect our soldiers, instead used a maneuver now Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid made common called “filling the tree” wherein they blocked all other amendments including Paul’s planned amendments.
Sources in the U.S. Senate tell Breitbart News, however, that Paul isn’t taking this lying down.
He is, they say, currently circulating a petition to go around the Senate leaders and force a vote on defunding Planned Parenthood anyway. Paul is calling pro life leaders to join him in this crusade, and some pro life leaders are already whispering that this may be the perfect time to strike at Planned Parenthood. If he succeeds, it would of course be a massive rebuke of McConnell’s leadership of the GOP majority in the Senate—and that it’s even come to this is extraordinary considering that McConnell and all Republicans nationwide just last year campaigned on the promise that giving Republicans the GOP majority in the Senate would mean the place would run differently from the way it ran under Reid’s leadership and Democratic control.
Planned Parenthood gets over $500 million a year in taxpayer funding.
Senate sources also say that in addition to Paul’s effort to go around McConnell for a vote to defund Planned Parenthood, more damning videos—like the ones showing the organization’s executives sought to sell baby body parts for cash or for a Lamborghini sports car—may be coming, though it’s unclear when the videos will come out.
Some news outlets, like The Hill, are erroneously reporting that McConnell began action on a bill to defund Planned Parenthood on Friday via what’s called the “Senate Rule 14” process. That allows the Senate to bypass the committee process and take a bill straight to the floor. While a standalone bill to defund Planned Parenthood is snaking its way through the Senate Rule 14 process, it’s not because McConnell put it there—Senate sources tell Breitbart News it’s because Sen. Paul put it there and McConnell had nothing to do with it.
What actually happened is Paul filed a new bill to defund Planned Parenthood under Senate Rule 14 which places a bill immediately on the calendar. Senate rules require McConnell to then read Senator Paul’s maneuver on the bill into the record before adjourning for the day—it’s not as if McConnell did so by choice. If Paul can get the necessary support from his colleagues for these measures, a vote could come this week on this bill to defund Planned Parenthood either as an amendment to the highway bill or as a stand alone piece of legislation.