PLANNED PARENTHOOD/TRUMP PEOPLE/MIKE PENCE: “With a rare tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence, the Senate on Thursday sent a bill to President Donald Trump’s desk giving states permission to withhold federal family planning funds from Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.
Pence and Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson, who is recovering from back surgery and used a walker inside the chamber, were dramatically summoned to the Capitol to help pass the measure by a razor-thin margin.
All of the chamber’s Democrats opposed the legislation, as did Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who have long opposed blocking funding for the family planning organization. The GOP holds a 52-48 majority in the Senate.
‘We’re talking about federal family planning funds and I don’t think that those funds should be subjected to state restrictions,’ Collins told POLITICO. ‘It’s important to recognize that there is already a bar against using federal funds for abortion and that bar stays in effect. That’s a prohibition that I personally support, but I’m a strong supporter of family planning funds.’
A spokesperson for Murkowski said the vote is ‘consistent with the senator’s long-held belief that men and women should have access to the family planning and reproductive health services they need, including cancer tests and health screenings.’ “
-Seung Min Kim and Brianna Ehley, “Pence breaks tie in Senate vote targeting Planned Parenthood funding,” Politico, March 30, 2017 12:33pm