It wasn’t long ago that nearly every Republican on Capitol Hill was promising voters that they would be on the vanguard of eliminating Planned Parenthood’s federal funding. That funding, which is prohibited by the Hyde Amendment but ignored because of some silly business about how the organization doesn’t use the funds for their abortion services, became a hot topic in the wake of an undercover video series that showed Planned Parenthood executives arranging to “donate” fetal tissue to research groups in exchange for money. You would call that “selling” in any other arena, but you know, Planned Parenthood is special.
These days, it seems that Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is the only one who remembers that Republicans are supposed to be cracking down on the evil abortion industry. Paul inserted an amendment to the new spending bill that would eliminate the ongoing funding of Planned Parenthood, and while most Republicans in the Senate voted to support the amendment, we didn’t see too many of them lobbying to push it through. And a couple of them (yes, the usual duo of Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski) actually voted against it. The amendment ultimately failed to pass with a final vote count of 45-48.
“While I am disappointed in the outcome of this vote, I will never apologize for standing up for life,” Paul said after the vote. “If it took exposing the preference of so many in my own party to continue reckless spending over protecting the innocent, it was a fight worth having.”
When arguing on the Senate floor for the amendment, Paul took some harsh shots at his fellow Republicans and the GOP leadership which, he said, “favors bloated government spending more than they care about Planned Parenthood.”
“Planned Parenthood receives over $400 million of taxpayer money,” Paul said. “The government, with a win and a nod, tells us that Planned Parenthood doesn’t spend the money on abortions, but everybody knows that the taxpayers are really cross-subsidizing Planned Parenthood’s abortion mills.
“This appropriations bill before us exceeds the spending caps by nearly $100 million,” he continued. “Big-spending Republicans fear that blocking funding from Planned Parenthood would derail their plans to greatly expand the welfare-warfare state.”
That’s certainly the fear from Collins and Murkowski, who are just shy of declaring themselves Democrats and being done with it. As for the rest of the Republican Senate, well, we’re just about done expecting them to do anything that might require a backbone. Thank God we have a few principled conservatives like Rand Paul, who, even though it may get irksome from time to time, will not simply go along to get along in the name of unity. We could do with a few more like him.