Paul Stirs Up Planned Parenthood Funding Battle As Senate Considers Massive Government Spending Bill
Also in the news on Capitol Hill, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is focused on issues of protecting Roe v. Wade as he considers the Trump administration's Supreme Court nominee, while Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) defends his "Medicare for all" plan in the face of media fact checks. But Politico reports that the idea, which has become a favorite for parts of the Democratic base, may not be playing well in primaries.
Paul Seeks To Cut Off Planned Parenthood Funds Via Massive Spending Bill
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) wants to tie a fight over funding for Planned Parenthood to a massive government spending bill currently being debated by the Senate. Paul has filed an amendment that would prevent federal funding from going to the organization and others that perform abortions. ... But Paul could struggle to get a vote on his amendment to the Senate bill. Leadership has agreed to avoid attaching so-called "poison pill" proposals to their legislation. (Carney, 8/20)
Senate Adopts First Defense, Health Spending Amendments
The Senate on Monday adopted the first two amendments to an $856.9 billion fiscal 2019 spending measure to fund the departments of Defense, Education, Labor, Health and Human Services and other agencies. The uncontroversial amendments — related to tracking cancer in firefighters and Pentagon identification of prisoners of war — each passed 85-0 Monday evening, but they were hardly predictors of how the rest of the debate could shape up. Party leaders gave no indication of whether the chamber will take up potentially contentious amendments, such as those related to U.S. support for the war in Yemen, or a proposal from Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Mike Lee, R-Utah., that would block federal funding to the health care and abortion provider Planned Parenthood. (Siddons, 8/20)
The Associated Press:
Fearful Of Losing Roe, Left Pushes Schumer For Action
At least once a week, they assemble in Capitol meeting rooms for an hour-long strategy session. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer convenes the gatherings, which regularly include several Democratic senators, a dozen Senate aides and representatives of about 20 liberal organizations. The goal: figuring out how to derail President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick, conservative appellate judge Brett Kavanaugh. Up to now, participants say the strategy sessions have been cordial. Yet with Senate Judiciary Committee hearings just two weeks off, cracks in the alliance are showing. (Fram, 8/20)
Sanders Hits 'Medicare For All' Fact Checks As 'Riddled With Errors'
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is hitting back at media fact checks of his "Medicare for all" plan, saying the articles are “riddled with errors.” In a series of tweets on Monday, Sanders criticized a fact check from CNN’s Jake Tapper. At issue is a conservative study that Sanders has been touting from the right-leaning Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Sanders has said the study showed that his plan would reduce total U.S. health spending by $2 trillion over 10 years. (Sullivan, 8/20)
Why ‘Medicare For All’ Is Playing Poorly In Democratic Primaries
Most of the prominent Democrats eyeing 2020 presidential bids — including Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts — champion the idea of “Medicare for all,” suggesting it’s become almost a litmus test for the party’s base. But the notion of government-funded health care has proved a tough sell to Democratic voters in swing districts that will determine control of the House. (Demko, 8/21)