The moves, both of which were fiercely sought by congressional conservatives, were wrapped into a so-called budget-reconciliation bill that required a simple majority of 51 votes to pass. Senate Democrats were able to block a Republican bid to defund Planned Parenthood in September because it was included in a must-pass spending bill that required 60 votes to clear a filibuster and come to the floor.
The reconciliation bill now goes to the House, which has voted multiple times to repeal Obamacare and end government reimbursements to Planned Parenthood for its provision of nonabortion medical services to low-income women. President Obama is expected to veto the bill. Senate Republican leaders acknowledged the measure was unlikely to become law but said they wanted to put lawmakers on the record as supporting or opposing the president's health-care overhaul and the embattled women's health nonprofit.