Washington – House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., is developing a new approach to de-funding Planned Parenthood, according to CQ Roll Call, a news outlet that covers Congress.
Republicans in Congress overwhelmingly oppose continued federal funding of Planned Parenthood, which provides a variety of health services to women, including contraception and, in some cases, abortion (although federal law prohibits use of any of the $500 million in funding to underwrite the cost of abortions). Their determination has been fueled by the release of several undercover videos, shot by an anti-abortion group, showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of body parts from aborted fetuses.
Scalise is suggesting using what’s known as the budget reconciliation process to strip the federal funds. That could be achieved by a simple majority vote in both the House and Senate, which are controlled by Republicans. The normal legislative process would require a super majority of 60 votes in the 100-member Senate for approval, and Democrats hold enough seats to block that.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has moved to cut off federal Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood in Louisiana, although the organization does not perform abortions in the state. That issue is before a federal judge.