Boehner Joins Pelosi and House Democrats to Pass Obama-Friendly Planned Parenthood-Funding CR

By Terence P. Jeffrey | September 30, 2015 | 11:33pm EDT
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

( - Lame-duck House Speaker John Boehner (R.-Ohio) needed and got the help of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) in pushing through a Republican-majority House of Representatives on Wednesday a spending bill that will fund all of the federal government--and permit funding of Planned Parenthood--through Dec. 11.

The bill was calculated to be one that President Barack Obama would readily sign into law and thus avoid a government “shutdown” resulting from a last-minute Obama veto.

Fiscal 2015 ended at midnight on Wednesday. The continuing resolution that the Congress had enacted in December 2014 authorizing funding for all of the government (except the Department of Homeland Security) through Sept. 30 of this year was set to expire at that hour.

(The December 2014 CR funded the Department of Homeland Security only through Feb. 27, 2015, with conservatives hoping that the subsequent DHS funding bill that Congress would need to pass in early 2015 would include language prohibiting President Barack Obama's unilateral actions to effectively amnesty millions of illegal aliens in the United States. However, on March 3, the Republican-majority Congress passed a DHS funding bill that did not include language restricting Obama's unilateral actions on immigration. Like the CR that the Republican Congress passed on Wednesday, that DHS funding bill it passed in March was opposed by the majority of Republicans in the House but nonetheless passed because every Democratic who voted on it voted for it.)

The Senate voted 78-20 on Wednesday morning to approve the new CR that authorizes federal funding until Dec. 11. All 20 votes against it came from Republicans. Two Republican senators (Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham) did not vote.

In the House, the CR passed 277 to 155, with 6 members not voting. All 186 House Democrats who did vote, voted for the CR. By conrast, House Republicans voted against it by a margin of 151 to 91.

Pelosi criticized the 151 House Republicans who did not take the same side as her and Boehner on the spending deal. She particularly ridiculed the unwillingness of these members to vote for a bill that will permit tax dollars to flow to Planned Parenthood—a group that stated in its latest annual report that it aborted 327,653 unborn babies in fiscal 2013 and that the Congressional Budget Office says receives approximately $450 million in federal funding per year.

“Tonight, 151 Republicans voted to shut down government rather than allow women to access affordable family planning and life-saving preventive health care,” said Pelosi.

“Tonight’s vote highlights the astounding, toxic radicalism of the Republican majority,” Pelosi said. “It exposes the depths of their contempt for women’s health and their total indifference to the priorities of hard-working American families.

“The American people need and deserve better,” she said.

Kevin McCarthy (R.-Calif.), who is seeking to replace Boehner as speaker, voted with Pelosi for the bill.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R.-Ohio), the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, was one of the 151 House Republicans who did not follow the joint lead of the House Republican and Democratic leaderships on this bill.

“I would have supported the funding bill had it simply redirected taxpayer dollars from Planned Parenthood to community health centers around the country, where women can receive actual, comprehensive healthcare,” Jordan said.  “I am disappointed that despite the gruesome and incontrovertible video evidence of Planned Parenthood’s activities, the president got his way and nothing changed. Taxpayers are tired of being treated this way, and they are fed up with politics as usual.”

Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R.-Kan.), who also voted against the spending bill, pointed to what he perceived as its multiple flaws.

“Republican leadership once again caved,” said Huelskamp. “They are going to fully fund Planned Parenthood. Fully fund the Iranian nuclear ‘deal.’ Fully fund Obama’s illegal amnesty. Fully fund Obamacare. Fully fund the EPA. This is exactly the reason we need new leadership. And this is exactly why 60% of all Republicans across America believe that Republicans in Washington have betrayed them.”

Sen. Roy Blunt (R.-Mo.), who voted against the bill, said it featured “President Obama’s spending priorities.

“I oppose this continuing resolution because it is just more of the same: more of President Obama’s spending priorities,” said Blunt. “Missourians are sick of Congress continuing to kick the can down the road for future generations. I look forward to working on and supporting funding bills that reflect our conservative priorities.”

Sen. Dan Coats (R.-Ind.), who also voted against the bill, said that the bill did not address the problem of the federal debt and what he called the “coming fiscal crisis.”

“In 2010, I asked Hoosiers to send me back to the Senate to focus on tackling our nation’s debt and deficit problems,” said Coats.

“With Republicans now in control of the House and Senate, maintaining the status quo in Washington is unacceptable,” said Coats. “I believe we must fund the government, but we can no longer ignore the coming fiscal crisis or President Obama’s continued executive overreach.”

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