See more of our coverage on the effects of the misleading Center for Medical Progress videos here.
The U.S. House is likely to vote shortly after the August recess on a bill that would at least temporarily defund Planned Parenthood, The Hill reports.
It’s not clear which proposal will be voted on, exactly when the vote will come, or whether the bill would be attached to other legislation.
GOP aides told The Hill that leaders are still weighing their options, but a likely candidate is Rep. Diane Black’s (R-TN) bill to halt federal funding to Planned Parenthood for one year while congressional investigations into the organization proceed. The investigations are inspired by videos released by the Center for Medical Progress, an anti-choice front group, which use misleading edits to claim that Planned Parenthood illegally makes a profit off of its participation in legal fetal tissue research.
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“We’re encouraged to know there will be a vote this fall, whether it’s our bill or something that is similar,” a spokesperson for Black said Friday, as reported by The Hil.
Some Republicans want to threaten a government shutdown by blocking any spending bills that contain funding for Planned Parenthood, but GOP leadership seems eager to avoid the chaos and controversy the move would provoke.
Black also doesn’t favor a shutdown over the issue.
One way of appeasing the anti-choice right wing while avoiding a messy shutdown fight could be to vote on a stand-alone defunding bill, like Black’s. Such a bill would easily pass the Republican-dominated House, but likely go nowhere in the Senate and would certainly be vetoed by President Obama.
The House has passed several extreme anti-choice bills this year, including a 20-week abortion ban and a broad restriction on abortion insurance coverage. But such bills face more obstacles in the Senate, which hasn’t yet taken votes on either of those bills and which recently rejected a Republican-led attempt to defund Planned Parenthood.
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) has said he would prefer to wait to see the evidence from congressional investigations into Planned Parenthood before proceeding with defunding.
So far, no state-level investigations into Planned Parenthood have turned up any wrongdoing, and the federal government has warned that it’s against the law for states to defund the women’s health group by excluding it from Medicaid programs.
That hasn’t stopped several state governors and legislators from moving to defund the organization.