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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Monday admitted the obvious: The Senate doesn’t have the votes to defund Planned Parenthood, and even if it did, President Obama would never sign off on it.
Despite this, McConnell said that the Senate will vote again on the issue.
During an interview with WYMT in Kentucky, McConnell was asked by a viewer why he hasn’t “led the charge against Planned Parenthood.”
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“Well, I have,” McConnell answered. “We just don’t have the votes to get the outcome that we’d like. Again, the president has the pen to sign it. If he doesn’t sign it, it doesn’t happen. But, yeah, we voted on that already in the Senate, we’ll vote on it again, but I would remind all of your viewers the way you make a law in this country, the Congress has to pass it and the president has to sign it.”
A recent Republican-led attempt to defund Planned Parenthood in the Senate didn’t get the 60 votes needed to defeat a filibuster.
McConnell said that in order to defund Planned Parenthood, the nation needs to wait for a new Republican president.
“The president’s made it very clear he’s not going to sign any bill that includes defunding of Planned Parenthood, so that’s another issue that awaits a new president, hopefully with a different point of view about Planned Parenthood,” McConnell said.
In order to do that, he said, Republicans need to be able to appeal to the ten or so swing states like Ohio.
McConnell, asked about the unpopularity of Congress, said he didn’t blame voters for not noticing his attempts to run a more functional Senate while a presidential campaign is going on.
McConnell has used some of the same tactics he criticized in his predecessor, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), as he faces a right-wing insurrection from members like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on issues like shutting down the government over Planned Parenthood funding.
For all of McConnell’s realism on whether Congress can pass a bill defunding Planned Parenthood, he didn’t mention that a government shutdown wouldn’t even shut down Planned Parenthood, or that stripping Planned Parenthood of federal funding is easier said than done because of Medicaid spending rules.