Washington Examiner — “Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday was called into the Senate to rescue legislation aimed at overturning an Obama administration rule that currently prevents states from blocking federal grants to abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood.
Senate Republicans made a motion to proceed to the legislation, and while a simple majority was needed to advance it, Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, voted against it. That left the Senate in a 50-50 tie, which required Pence to cast the tie-breaking vote.”
“The close Thursday vote means Pence might also be needed again in a final passage vote.”
and from Politico — “Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, two GOP lawmakers who have long resisted efforts to bar federal funding for the women’s health organization, voted with Democrats against advancing the measure. The GOP holds a 52-48 majority in the Senate.
“Taking resources away from these providers, which this resolution would do, would be cruel, and it would have [the] greatest impact on women and families who need it the most,” Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said following the Thursday morning vote. “And it would undo a valuable effort by the Obama administration to ensure that health care providers are evaluated for federal funding based on their ability to provide the services in question, not on ideology.”
“This is an opportunity to return to the people the right to prioritize how taxpayer dollars are spent,” said Mallory Quigley, a spokeswoman for the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List. Collins and Murkowski are “missing out on the opportunity to stand up for comprehensive women’s health care.”