Democrats in the U.S. Senate, including Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz of Hawaii, have once again blocked efforts by Republicans to defund Planned Parenthood.

On Thursday, in a 52-to-47 vote, the Senate “rejected a short-term spending bill that would defund Planned Parenthood, thwarting the opening move by Republican leaders to avoid a government shutdown on Oct. 1,” says The Hill.

Sixty votes were needed to advance the measure, which would have funded the government until Dec. 11.

Eight Republicans broke ranks and voted against the measure while just one Democrat voted for it.

U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono.

U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono.

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono

After the vote, Hirono released a statement:

“Keeping the federal government open for business is one of Congress’ core responsibilities. So is ensuring that the least fortunate among us have access to basic necessities. Yet for the second time in the past three years, we are on the precipice of an unnecessary and preventable government shutdown — this time over an ideological crusade that has nothing to do with the government. …

“Let’s cut the partisan politics and pass clean legislation to fund the federal government.”

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has since introduced a “clean” short-term spending bill that would fund the government and Planned Parenthood.

It’s was unclear Thursday whether the Senate would stay in session this weekend or wait to vote on the measure Monday.

Thursday’s vote was the second this week in which the Senate defeated efforts to cut Planned Parenthood funding.

Many Republicans are angry with the group after videos surfaced alleging that the family-planning group was misusing fetal tissue. Critics say the video was taken out of context and is misleading.

About the Author