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We’re used to the GOP Congress making headlines for breaking promises to their voters or letting Democrats pick their pockets. So it’s especially satisfying to hear Paul Ryan’s latest detail on the House Republicans’ Obamacare strategy: no more funds for Planned Parenthood.
Republicans plan to strip Planned Parenthood of hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding as part of their rapid push to repeal President Obama’s health-care overhaul, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Thursday.
Ryan said a defunding measure would appear in a special fast-track bill that is expected to pass Congress as soon as next month. “Planned Parenthood legislation would be in our reconciliation bill,” he said at a news conference in response to a question about plans to defund the organization.
Reconciliation is a special congressional procedure allowing legislation to bypass a Senate filibuster, meaning it would need only a simple majority of senators to pass rather than a 60-vote supermajority.
Ryan made his comments two days after a special investigative panel formed by Republicans issued a report recommending that Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, lose its access to Medicaid reimbursements and federal family-planning funds. The GOP report also recommended that Congress allow states to exclude abortion providers from their Medicaid programs.
The federal government gave Planned Parenthood $553 million in 2014, about half of its total funding. Technically, they’re not supposed to use that money for abortions, but that “service” is central to their mission.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi blasted the move. “I just would like to speak individually to women across America,” she said. “This is about respect for you, for your judgment about your personal decisions in terms of your reproductive needs, the size and timing of your family or the rest, not to be determined by the insurance company or by the Republican ideological right-wing caucus in the House of Representatives.”
News for Pelosi: According to a recent Marist poll, 69 percent of women oppose taxpayer funding of abortion.