Fund Planned Parenthood? McCain: ‘I Will Not Vote to Shut Down the Government’

Mairead McArdle | September 17, 2015 | 1:52pm EDT
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Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)  (AP)


( – When asked whether he would vote for a continuing resolution that permits federal funding of Planned Parenthood, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) responded that he would “not vote to shut down the government.”

The continuing resolution currently in force authorizes funding of most of the federal government through Sept. 30, the last day of fiscal 2015. To fund the government after that date, Congress needs to pass another continuing resolution, which may or may not include language that prohibits federal funds from going to Planned Parenthood.

At the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, asked Senator McCain: “Will you vote for a CR that permits funding of Planned Parenthood?”

McCain said, “I will not vote to shut down the government. I will not vote to shut down the government. I’ve seen that movie before and what it did to Arizona’s--the people of Arizona--and so I can’t. I will not vote to shut down the government.”

Under the Constitution, all expenditures from the U.S. Treasury must be authorized by Congress, both houses of which now have Republican majorities.  If the Republican leaders included langauge in the CR to fund the government after Sept. 30 that prohibited funding for Planned Parenthood, Senate Democrats could try to block it with a filibuster, or President Barack Obama could veto it.

The White House has said Obama will veto any legislation that defunds Planned Parenthood.

If Senate Democrats filibustered or President Obama vetoed a CR that prohibited funding for Planned Parenthood, it could trigger a government shutdown.  The last government shutdown occurred Oct 1-16, 2013.

If the House and Senate Republicans pass a CR that is silent on Planned Parenthood, then the organization will continue to receive federal funds in fiscal 2016. But Planned Parenthood cannot get federal funds in fiscal 2016 unless the Republican majority Congress implicitly or expressly permits it.

Planned Parenthood’s latest annual report said it received $528.4 million in government grants and reimbursements in the year that ended on June 30, 2014.  The same report states that Planned Parenthood performed 327,653 abortions in fiscal year 2013, which ran from Oct. 1, 2012 to Sept. 30, 2013. 

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