National Partnership for Women & Families

In the News

House Sends Budget Reconciliation Measure Targeting Planned Parenthood to White House

The House on Wednesday voted 240-181 to pass a budget reconciliation measure (HR 3762) that would suspend federal funding for Planned Parenthood and repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148), the AP/Sacramento Bee reports (Werner, AP/Sacramento Bee, 1/6).

The bill now goes to President Obama, who is expected to veto it (Sullivan, The Hill, 1/6).

Federal Defunding Efforts in Reconciliation and FY 2016 Budget Measures

When a stopgap spending bill -- which included funding for Planned Parenthood -- was debated earlier this year, some conservative lawmakers said they would not support any government spending measure that includes funding for the organization (Women's Health Policy Report, 12/17/15). Last month, President Obama signed a government spending measure that does not include language defunding Planned Parenthood (Women's Health Policy Report, 12/21/14).

Meanwhile, congressional leaders pursued an alternative budget procedure known as reconciliation. The Senate on Dec. 4, 2015, voted 52-47 to pass a budget reconciliation bill that would defund Planned Parenthood and repeal several ACA provisions. Through budget reconciliation, certain legislation can advance in the Senate with a simple majority vote.

The part of the reconciliation measure that targets Planned Parenthood would end federal funding for the organization for one year. According to the Congressional Budget Office, that amounts to about $390 million in Medicaid funding. Meanwhile, the measure would add $235 million in funding for community health centers.

After the Senate vote, the measure returned to the House, which had approved a different version of the bill in October 2015.

President Obama has through Jan. 18 to veto the bill, which he has pledged to do (Women's Health Policy Report, 12/17/15). According to USA Today, conservative leaders in Congress said they will try to override the veto, but neither the House nor Senate likely has enough votes to successfully do so. Conservative leaders said they plan to hold the override vote toward the end of January (Kelly, USA Today, 1/6).

Planned Parenthood Responds

Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, condemned the vote. "It is appalling that in their first week back in session the top priority for [conservative] leaders in the House is rolling back access to preventive health care," she said, adding, "This will be the 20th vote in the 114th Congress to cut women's access to reproductive health care" (Planned Parenthood Action Fund release, 1/5).