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Ryan: Reconciliation Best Bet to Defund Planned Parenthood

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The reconciliation process is the best way to get a bill defunding Planned Parenthood to President Barack Obama's desk, Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Thursday.  

Asked at his first weekly news conference as speaker if the omnibus could include a provision to defund the organization and if he would commit to not allowing the government to shut down, Ryan said he wouldn't "predetermine the outcome of negotiations that have not taken place yet."  But he hinted that he doesn't think Planned Parenthood defunding could pass through Congress via the appropriations process.  

Ryan Outlines Appropriations Strategy

While the House could pass an appropriations bill defunding Planned Parenthood with only Republican support, the Senate could not. The Senate would need at least six Democrats to help them approve a bill with a 60-vote, filibuster-proof majority. However, the reconciliation process allows the Senate to bypass filibuster rules and pass a bill with a simple-majority vote.  

"We also have a reconciliation process underway, and we have defunded Planned Parenthood through the reconciliation process, which is our best chance and opportunity of actually getting a bill on the president’s desk,” Ryan said. "So we are moving on Planned Parenthood on multiple fronts, not to mention the fact that we have a select committee through the commerce committee to look at these issues."

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