In what was ultimately a show-vote, the House once again passed a measure that supports the defunding of Planned Parenthood, as the abortion business is under congressional investigation for selling the body parts of aborted babies.
The House approved the measure 241-185, with 238 Republicans and three Democrats voting for it. The resolution seeks a moratorium on federal funding to Planned Parenthood for one year unless the organization certifies that it will not perform abortions—which it will not.
In testimony before the House Oversight Committee Tuesday, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards defended her organization, stating, “Abortion is healthcare.”
Previously, the House approved a separate bill—the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015, authored by Rep. Diane Black, but Senate Democrats filibustered that piece of legislation.
The House also passed a measure on Tuesday with the purpose of making it easier for states to defund Planned Parenthood by terminating the organization’s Medicaid funding. The Obama administration has threatened action against states that have attempted to defund the nation’s largest provider of abortions.
Since Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has acquiesced to Senate Democrats and President Obama’s threat of veto, Planned Parenthood will continue to receive taxpayer funding.
The issue of defunding Planned Parenthood has become a “last straw” in the contentious battle between establishment Republicans and the conservative base of the Republican Party, a battle that has led to the resignation of House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) and the suggestion that McConnell could also be out soon. That base repeatedly has charged that, despite giving the Republican Party overwhelming victories in 2010 and 2014, conservative constitutional principles are not being enacted into policy.