Ryan: Planned Parenthood Defunding Has to Be in Reconciliation Bill

By Susan Jones | May 2, 2017 | 11:54 AM EDT

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) addresses a news conference on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Screen grab from Speaker.gov)

(CNSNews.com) – At a news conference on Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) listed some of the “good conservative wins” in the omnibus spending bill that Democrats have applauded and many Republicans have booed.

“Chief among them are the president’s two highest priorities – support our military and get a down payment on border security, and this delivers that,” Ryan said.

But what about defunding Planned Parenthood? a reporter asked Ryan. The omnibus spending bill continues such funding though September.

Ryan said pro-life groups agree: Planned Parenthood defunding can’t be included in an appropriations bill, such as the one that will come to the House floor this week. It needs to be in a reconciliation bill, in this case, the Republican health care bill:

“We know – we always knew – that it takes 60 votes to pass an appropriations bill through the Senate,” Ryan said. But a reconciliation bill requires only 51 votes.

Ryan said there is no Planned Parenthood funding in the reconciliation bill. “And by the way, Tom Price is now the person who approves grants that go out to the states. So we feel very comfortable that we are working hand in glove with the administration to advance our pro-life priorities.”

Planned Parenthood is funded by taxpayers through (discretionary) Title X family planning and health care grants and through (mandatory) Medicaid reimbursements.

Ryan noted that the appropriations bill continues the longstanding Hyde Amendment restrictions on abortion funding.

And he said the health care (reconciliation) bill will advance the pro-life cause even further: “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 (sic); and that’s the bill that we’re advancing our cause even further.

“And that is why these two efforts in conjunction with one another advance our cause and our principles quite a bit.”