Senate GOP leaders face a major test over the next two weeks in trying to round up enough Republicans to back a bill that would gut Obamacare and strip funding from Planned Parenthood — but they’re caught in a tug-of-war between powerful conservative lobbies who view the issues in very different ways.
Standing on one side is the political-action wing of The Heritage Foundation, which says the bill should be rejected because, while denting the Affordable Care Act, it doesn’t effect a total repeal.
On the other side is a coalition of pro-life groups who say the chance to ding Planned Parenthood is too good to pass up, citing the release of undercover videos that appeared to show organization officials negotiating the sale of harvested fetal tissue.
At stake is the fast-track legislation itself, which was supposed to be a crowning GOP victory by avoiding a Democratic filibuster and getting a measure directly to the desk of President Obama, thereby forcing him to use his veto to defend his health care law.
The problem for Republican leaders lies in making the math work. Under the fast-track procedures, they just need a majority of 51 senators, and they hold 54 seats in the chamber.
But the pro-life groups say three Republicans who have wavered on defunding Planned Parenthood, namely Sens. Susan M. Collins of Maine, Mark Kirk of Illinois and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, can’t be counted on when the vote comes.Read the rest of the story HERE.
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