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September 25, 2015

Senate Turns Back Bill to Cut Funding for Planned Parenthood

With eight Republican senators joining almost all of their Democratic peers, the Senate voted 52-47 Thursday against a bill to impose a one-year moratorium on federal money for Planned Parenthood, USA Today and Bloomberg report.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell then filed a "clean" stop-gap spending bill to keep the government operating through Dec. 11, with no provision to defund Planned Parenthood. The organization gets hundreds of millions of dollars annually from Washington to provide non-abortion health services to low-income women. A vote on the new measure could come Monday.

Earlier this week, in a bid to avert a government shutdown, Mr. McConnell proposed redirecting $235 million from Planned Parenthood to other providers in the coming fiscal year. Congressional conservatives want to block any spending bill that includes money for Planned Parenthood, which has been accused by anti-abortion activists of illegally selling fetal tissue. The organization denies the allegation and says its critics are running a deceptive smear campaign.

Congress must pass a spending measure by Wednesday to keep the government running. House Republicans were set to meet Friday to discuss a differeent approach in their fight against Planned Parenthood by crafting a special budget bill to halt funding to the group rather than tying it to broader spending legislation, the Associated Press writes.