National Partnership for Women & Families

In the News

Obama Vetoes Budget Reconciliation Bill Targeting Planned Parenthood

President Obama on Friday vetoed a budget reconciliation measure (HR 3762) that would have suspended federal funding for Planned Parenthood and repealed parts of the Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148), the New York Times reports (Harris, New York Times, 1/8).

The House will vote to override the veto on Jan. 26 (Attias, CQ News, 1/8). However, according to USA Today, conservative lawmakers are "far short of the two-thirds vot[e] necessary for an override" (Korte, USA Today, 1/8).

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. Last month, Obama signed a government spending measure that does not include language defunding Planned Parenthood.

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.

Following the Senate vote, the House on Jan. 7 voted 240-181 to pass the measure (Women's Health Policy Report, 1/7).

Comments

Obama in his veto message said, "This legislation would not only repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act, but would reverse significant process we have made in improving health care in America" (CQ News, 1/8). He noted that the parts of the bill targeting Planned Parenthood would "disproportionately impact low-income individuals," concluding, "Because of the harm this bill would cause to the health and financial security of millions of Americans, it has earned my veto" (New York Times, 1/8).

Separately, Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said the "veto is a stark reminder of the importance of having a women's health champion and defender in the White House." She added, "We are grateful to President Obama for rejecting this partisan bill that would roll back an historic expansion of health care for women and deny millions of men, women, and young people access to care at Planned Parenthood" (Planned Parenthood Action Fund release, 1/8).