By Jennifer Popik, J.D., NRLC Federal Legislative Director
In the early hours of Friday morning, in a stunning blow, 3 Republican Senators, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. Murkowski (R-Ak), and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), joined with all of the Democrats ending the current attempt to move away from the abortion-expanding Obama Health Care law.
The so-called “skinny bill” would have defunded abortion giant Planned Parenthood for one year and would likely have gone to conference where further pro-life modifications might have been made.
While there have been numerous stops and starts, Congressional Leadership and the White House have both signaled that they would like to move on to other items for the short term.
National Right to Life is deeply disappointed at this missed opportunity to begin rolling back Obamacare with its multiple provisions authorizing federal subsidies for abortion insurance, multiple provisions allowing abortion-expansive federal mandates, and multiple provisions that will result in involuntary denial of life-saving medical treatment by placing unacceptable limits on the right of vulnerable Americans.
National Right to Life has worked closely with Congressional leaders and will continue to do so.
Prior to the failure of the Repeal Bill this morning, National Right to Life supported several items, sending letters to Senate offices:
- The motion to proceed to the House-passed 1628 which began debate on repealing Obamacare. This was successful by a vote of 51-50, losing Sen. Collins, Sen. Murkowski, and all Democrats. Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote.
- Amendment no. 271 from Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Mike Enzi (R-WY) on “Repeal only.” This amendment contained strong Hyde language. The vote on “Repeal only” failed by a vote of 45-55 with 7 Republicans and all Democrats voting against the measure.
- Amendment no. 389 from Sen. Luther Strange (R-Al.) which would extend Hyde Protections to the Senate Bill’s Tax Credit provisions. Because this measure did not have a cost-estimate it was held to a 60 vote threshold, and did not pass. Every Democrat, along with Sen. Collins and Sen. Murkowski, voted against the measure. Even so, this amendment received a strong Republican showing.
- Amendment no. 502 from Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) to eliminate the “Cadillac tax.” This tax is designed to create a tax disincentive to suppress private, nongovernmental health care spending beyond a governmentally-imposed limit. The “Cadillac tax” was postponed in both the House-passed version as well as early Senate versions. The measure passed by a vote of 52-48.