Pence casts tie-breaking vote on Planned Parenthood funding


Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a swearing-in ceremony in which Ben Carson was sworn in as secretary of housing and urban developmentMarch 2 in Washington, D.C. Tribune News Service / Abaca Press Buy Photos

Vice President Mike Pence broke the tie in the Senate on Thursday on legislation that would allow states to block federal family-planning funds to go to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.

Republicans currently hold a 52-48 majority in the Senate; however, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, voted with Democrats against the measure. The former Indiana governor sided with the rest of the GOP and voted to pass the legislation.

Under the Congressional Review Act, the measure will repeal a rule passed at the end of Obama’s second term, which bans states from blocking Title X family-planning grants to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers. Title X funding also covers services such as contraception, STD/STI screenings and treatments but cannot be used to pay for abortion services.

This is the second time this year Pence has had to break a vote in the Senate, the first being the Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ confirmation. In this case as well, Collins and Murkowski voted with Democrats against DeVos.

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