Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said Aug. 31 that defunding Planned Parenthood will have to wait until after the next presidential election in 2016.
Speaking with WYMT-TV in Kentucky, McConnell dealt a blow to members of his own party when he stated his opposition to defunding the women’s health organization when Congress reconvenes later in September.
“The president’s made it very clear he’s not going to sign any bill that includes defunding of Planned Parenthood, so that’s another issue that awaits a new president, hopefully with a different point of view about Planned Parenthood,” McConnell said.
Some conservative Republicans have denounced the organization after undercover videos were released alleging that executives were discussing purchasing aborted fetal body parts. Planned Parenthood has said its employees did nothing wrong and the videos were heavily edited by the filmmakers.
After the Senate failed to defund the organization earlier in August, McConnell admitted that the votes are still not there.
“We just don’t have the votes to get the outcome that we’d like,” he said. “Again, the president has the pen to sign it. If he doesn’t sign it, it doesn’t happen. But, yeah, we voted on that already in the Senate, we’ll vote on it again, but I would remind all of your viewers the way you make a law in this country, the Congress has to pass it and the president has to sign it.”
With threats from conservative Republicans, such as presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, over shutting down the government, McConnell insisted that he would not let that happen again, as it did in 2013.
“We’ve been down this path before,” McConnell said, referencing to the 2013 shutdown when Republicans, led by a fiery speech from Cruz, were responsible for the government shutdown for not funding President Barack Obama's health care law.