The Senate parliamentarian has ruled that defunding Planned Parenthood can be part of a special Republican package repealing parts of ObamaCare, The Hill has learned.
The parliamentarian on Tuesday gave word that the provision passes muster under the Senate’s Byrd Rule, which means it can be attached to a reconciliation package that cannot be filibustered on the Senate floor.
Some Senate sources had raised questions over whether the reconciliation bill passed by the House — which strips funding from Planned Parenthood — was even eligible for the reconciliation process.
That question is now settled, which means the Senate can begin debating the measure once GOP leaders round up enough votes to bring it to the floor.
“The House of Representatives passed important legislation that ripped out the core pillars of ObamaCare and fully complies with the House’s budget rules. Today the Senate Parliamentarian advised us that their ObamaCare repeal bill can proceed under the rules of reconciliation,” said Don Stewart, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
“The Parliamentarian also confirmed that the restrictions on payments to certain health care providers in section 201 of the House bill can be accomplished consistent with the Byrd rule,” Stewart added, referring to language defunding Planned Parenthood.
So this is all great fun for the GOP, but it's going to run into a guaranteed veto by President Obama. The question is will this legislation get attached to must-pass legislation? The budget deal has already been signed, so where does this bill go?
It's a definite boon to the four Senate Republicans running for President in 2016. If this does get past the Senate, these four can say "I proved the only thing keeping Obamacare and Planned Parenthood alive now is Obama, and once I win in 2016 we can and will end his legacy."
Of course, that goes for Trump, Carson, Fiorina, Jeb! and the rest of the pack too.
Short of a piping hot plate of red meat for the base, this accomplishes nothing.
That appears to be the point, however.