The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Speaker Paul Ryan said on Thursday that the GOP will attempt to defund Planned Parenthood in its bill to repeal Obamacare. Such a move has been long requested by conservatives, but it is already eroding support for the bill among more liberal members of the Senate GOP caucus. The question is, will the attempt to defund Planned Parenthood kill the entire effort to repeal Obamacare? Michelle Hackman writes:
Republican aides privately acknowledge the Planned Parenthood provision will likely not survive in the bill’s final form, as several moderate Republicans in the Senate – whose votes are crucial for passage – may balk at stripping the organization of its federal backing.
Once President-Elect Donald Trump takes office later this month, Republican leaders can only afford to lose no more than two Republicans votes and still pass a repeal bill. Kentucky sen. Rand Paul has already indicated he may vote against the measure, and the inclusion of Planned Parenthood defunding could deter several other senators, including Susan Collins of Maine.
Asked on Thursday, Ms. Collins demurred over whether defunding Planned Parenthood would prompt her to vote against a budget blueprint. “I don’t even know what’s going to be in the House budget,” Ms. Collins said. “It’s premature to say. There is a group of House Republicans who do not want to see the defunding in there.”
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