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Rand Paul: GOP Will Discuss Best Way to Vote to Defund Planned Parenthood

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

After a rally with supporters of his effort to defund Planned Parenthood, Sen. Rand Paul said it’s not yet certain whether his bill will get a vote.  

“I don’t think it’s decided which bill it’s going to be. The only thing that’s been decided is that there will be a bill to defund, and I’ll be part of the discussion,” the Republican from Kentucky said in a brief interview. “I respect Sen. Lankford and others who want to do it, so we’ll just have to work on exactly what the final bill is.”  

The bill from Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., would impose a moratorium on federal funds going to Planned Parenthood for a year during an investigation into the organization after a series of videos circulated about the group’s practices in providing abortion services.  

At the rally, Paul also said former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Democratic presidential front-runner, should return campaign money received from officials at Planned Parenthood.  

“Hillary Clinton’s hands are stained by accepting this money, and she needs to immediately return every red cent she has received from Planned Parenthood employees,” Paul said.  

Paul, one of the handful of senators seeking the presidency, dismissed criticism that the vote would constitute nothing more than a “show vote,” given that it would take the support of 60 senators to get over procedural obstacles.  

“You know, it didn’t turn out to be possible to get it on. If you were able to, through an elaborate way, get it on with a simple majority, then probably the Democrats would vote against the highway bill. So, there’s no easy way of doing this, but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t fight,” Paul told CQ Roll Call.  

Paul drew an enthusiastic response from the anti-abortion advocates gathered on the lawn adjacent to the East Front of the Capitol building, where several other Republican lawmakers were in attendance, including Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland and Lankford.

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