Dems Just Made This Huge Move Against The Effort To Defund Planned Parenthood

A push by mostly Republican senators to strip federal funding for scandal-plagued Planned Parenthood fell seven votes shy of passing the chamber Monday. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a 2016 Republican presidential candidate, was a key supporter of the effort to defund the nation’s largest abortion facilitator.

“The time has come to have a full-throated debate about this,” he said ahead of Monday’s vote, “and the time has come to end all taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood. It’s about time we had a debate in our country about this, and it’s about time we said enough is enough.”

Paul, a co-sponsor of the bill, was among many pro-life Republicans to express outrage over the revelations uncovered through a series of videos released by the center for Medical Progress.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell described the vote as “a simple choice” between protecting “women’s health” or “subsidies for a political group mired in scandal.”

Nevertheless, pro-abortion Democrats like Barbara Boxer were quick to castigate Planned Parenthood’s opponents, saying conservatives have been targeting the organization for many years.

“The only thing that changes,” she alleged, “are their tactics.”

Boxer did not speak for everyone in her party, though.

West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin, for example, spoke out against Planned Parenthood’s actions – and continued federal funding of the group – just before voting for the Republican bill.

“Like many West Virginians,” he said, “I am very troubled by the callous behavior of Planned Parenthood staff in recently released videos. Until these allegations have been answered and resolved, I do not believe that taxpayer money should be used to fund this organization.”

Manchin was joined by only one other Democrat senator, Indiana’s Joe Donnelly, in supporting the effort. Just one Republican, Illinois’ Mark Kirk, voted against the measure. The Washington Post’s Mike DeBonis cited a tough re-election bid for a blue state Republican as a potential factor for his vote.

2016 hopeful Lindsey Graham, who was campaigning in New Hampshire Monday, did not vote.

Do you want your tax dollars to fund Planned Parenthood? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

After Getting Creamed By Cruz, McConnell Just Did Something That Will Stun Conservatives

Only a few days after repeatedly being called an untrustworthy liar during a floor speech by Sen. Ted Cruz, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has done something that Cruz and other conservatives will likely consider a positive move. The Kentucky Republican has pledged to hold a vote to repeal Obamacare and to do it in such a way that only a simple majority of 51 senators would be needed to turn thumbs down on the unpopular law.

CNS News reports that Sens. McConnell and Mike Lee of Utah, a Cruz ally, have issued a joint statement in which the majority leader promises to use the budget reconciliation process to cut funding to President Obama’s health care takeover law. Sen. Lee apparently came to the agreement with McConnell and other GOP lawmakers in the upper chamber after the Utah Republican dropped his effort to repeal Obamacare by attaching an amendment to the highway funding bill, considered a must-pass piece of legislation.

The article on CNS News quotes Mitch McConnell from the joint statement:

“Earlier this year, Senate Republicans passed a balanced budget, and with it the necessary procedural tools – via the budget reconciliation process – to bring an end to the nightmare of Obamacare,” McConnell said in the joint statement with Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah).

“Americans have faced skyrocketing health care costs, rampant fraud and more government between them and their doctors. And Republicans are united in working to repeal the broken promises of Obamacare and allow our country to start over fresh with real health reform that Americans deserve,” he added.

While CNS News characterizes the McConnell pledge to conduct a simple-majority vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act as a win for Sen. Lee and his conservative colleagues, curiously The Hill takes a different view of this development in the Senate. The opening paragraph of The Hill’s coverage casts Lee’s maneuver in a negative light.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) has officially conceded defeat in his effort to force a Senate vote on repealing ObamaCare, which ended Monday night after a tense face-off with leadership.

Of course, there’s no guarantee that Senate Republicans will stand firm and united behind the latest attempt to kill the president’s signature legislative achievement — there’s no certainty that they’ll tally the 51 votes necessary to defund under the reconciliation procedure — but it would seem that the 114th Congress could be closer than ever to sending a kill-the-law bill to President Obama, who is certain to veto it.

With Congress members only days from leaving Washington for their extended summer break, there’s no timetable set for a vote on the budget reconciliation bill that McConnell has vowed to present. There’s also no indication that what Mitch McConnell just pledged to do as an attempt to repeal Obamacare and satisfy frustrated GOP voters was in response to the very public and very passionate assault on his integrity by presidential contender Ted Cruz.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Watch: Ted Cruz Just Threw An Epic Challenge At Obama- ‘…In Front Of The American People’

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has called out President Barack Obama, challenging the president to debate the substance of the Iran nuclear agreement within the next 60 days. The 2016 Republican presidential candidate calls the proposed agreement “the single greatest national security threat facing America.”

“I will invite President Obama at any time and place of his choosing to debate the substance of the Iran deal,” Cruz said Monday on Fox News’s Hannity. “Let’s do it in front of the American people.” Cruz later offered Obama the option of sending Secretary of State John Kerry as a proxy.

Cruz has been adamant that the proposed agreement will enrich America’s enemies.

“Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, so much of that money will end up in the hands of Hamas and Hezbollah and the Houthis, and other radical Islamic terrorists,” Cruz said. “And if this deal goes through, the Obama administration will become, quite literally, the world’s leading financier of radical Islamic terrorism.”

Obama has criticized Republican presidential candidates who oppose the Iran deal. On Monday, Obama chastised former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s recent comments that the deal is marching Israelis “to the door of the oven.” Obama said such criticism “is not the kind of leadership that is needed in America right now.”

The Senate is expected to vote on the proposed agreement in September. Republican senators have reacted harshly to the proposal. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said that Senate Democrats are more receptive to the treaty. If Senate Republicans vote as a bloc to kill the deal, Senate Democrats cannot afford to lose more than 12 lawmakers in the post-veto battle that would follow.

h/t: The Hill

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Here’s What Sinister Thing The GOP Is Doing To Cruz, After He Called McConnell A Liar

Senate Republican leadership called out Sen. Ted Cruz for his accusation that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell lied about a backroom deal being struck to bring a controversial measure to a vote.

As reported by Western Journalism, Cruz, in a speech from the Senate floor Friday, called out McConnell for lying to him and his Republican Senate colleagues about whether there was a deal made to pass Trade Promotion Authority (TPA)–a measure strongly supported by Republicans–in May, in exchange for bringing the re-authorization of the Export-Import Bank (strongly supported by Democrats) to a vote.

Many conservative Republicans, including Cruz, believe the Ex-Im Bank, which uses taxpayer dollars to subsidize American exports, is a boondoggle and a blatant example of crony capitalism that should be eliminated.

Cruz recounted seeing senators huddling on the Senate floor in May, while the vote regarding TPA was held up.

After the vote, Cruz asked McConnell point-blank at a Republican senators lunch whether there was a deal cut to get Democrats to vote for TPA, in exchange for a vote on the Export-Import bank re-authorization. The Texas senator stated in his Friday speech that McConnell repeated three times to the group, “There is no deal,” like “Saint Peter” of old, said Cruz.

Yet last week, McConnell brought the amendment forward himself to include the Ex-Im Bank re-authorization in the highway bill, Cruz observed. When he calls up an amendment as a majority leader, “No one can stop him,” he said.

Cruz stated clearly that there was a deal, and that McConnell is lying.

Without stating his name specifically, Sen. Orin Hatch, R-Utah, rebuked Cruz for accusing McConnell of lying by reading a provision from Rule 19 regarding senate decorum: “No Senator in debate shall, directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.”

Hatch noted that when a senator is “called to order under this rule, that senator must take his or her seat and may not proceed without leave of the senate.”

“Regrettably, in recent times, the Senate floor has too often become a forum for partisan messaging,” Hatch said, acting in the role of President Pro Tempore of the Senate. “It has been used as a tool to advance personal ambitions, a venue to promote political campaigns, and even a vehicle to enhance fundraising efforts, all at the expense of the proper functioning of this body,” he said.

“Squabbling and sanctimony may be tolerated in other venues — or perhaps on the campaign trail — but they have no place among colleagues in the United States Senate,” warned Hatch.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, McConnell’s second in command, piled on, stating that if the majority leader had made such an statement, “I suspect you would find other voices joining that of the junior senator [Cruz].”

“I think it was outside the realm of Senate behavior,” Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said regarding Cruz’s remarks. “I would never contemplate going to the floor of the Senate and impugning the integrity of another senator. Just not something we do here. I really think it was a very wrong thing to do,” he said.

McConnell defended his actions from the Senate floor on Sunday: “I’ve said repeatedly and publicly for months that the Ex-Im supporters from both parties should be allowed a vote. I also said publicly that the highway bill would be an obvious place to have that vote.”

“When there is overwhelming bipartisan support for an idea, even if I oppose it, it doesn’t require some ‘special deal’ to see a vote occur on the measure. This is the United States Senate, after all, where we debate and vote on all kinds of different issues,” he added.

Cruz did not back down from his Friday remarks, telling reporters after Sunday’s vote: “I do not believe speaking the truth is anything other than in the very best tradition of the United States Senate.”

He said that McConnell took “extraordinary steps designed to force a vote to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank and they were directly contrary to the promises the Majority Leader made to 53 Republicans and to the press.” Cruz added: “My saying so is uncomfortable but it is a simple fact entirely consistent with decorum and no member of this body has disputed that promise was made and that promise was broken.”

The Senate Conservatives Fund–founded by former South Carolina Senator (now president of the Heritage Foundation) Jim DeMint —tweeted its support for Ted Cruz’s account of events.

Senate Conservatives Fund - Ted Cruz Support

As reported by Western Journalism earlier this month, the Texas senator was asked at an event by a reporter whether he thought the GOP leadership was corrupt. The senator answered by offering the example of the 2013 debt ceiling debate.

After legislation passed the House raising the debt ceiling, primarily with the help of Democrats, the measure came to the Senate. The leadership called all the GOP senators into a meeting and asked them to agree, with a unanimous consent floor vote, to allow the debt ceiling increase to go forward by a simple majority, rather than the usual 60 vote requirement. The leadership said that that way, the Democrats could pass it by themselves (they had 55 senators at the time), and all the Republicans could vote against it and go tell their constituents how they stood up against big spending.

Cruz indicated he could not in good faith do what they were asking. He said only Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, stood with him and filibustered raising the debt ceiling without spending reforms.

GOP leadership pressed Cruz why he was going to make five Republican senators have to vote with the Democrats to pass the legislation. Cruz saw the incident as emblematic of leadership that had forgotten why they were sent to Washington.

h/t: Bizpac Review

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

SHOCK: What Cruz Just Said On The Senate Floor Could Be Declaration Of GOP War (Video)

He’s been referred to as the “Cruz missile,” and today the senator from Texas took dead aim at a top GOP colleague often associated with the Republican establishment that conservatives distrust.

Solemnly saying that “today is a sad day for this institution,” Senator and presidential hopeful Ted Cruz took to the floor of the upper chamber on Friday and delivered a verbal broadside to his own party’s leadership, accusing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of lying.

“The Senate operates based on trust,” said Cruz, who then went on to claim the high-powered Kentucky Republican lied to him repeatedly about having agreed to a deal involving votes for the recently passed Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and an attempt to revive the lapsed authorization for the controversial Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank.

Cruz was unabashed and relentless in his accusation that McConnell falsely denied there was no back-room arrangement regarding support gathered for TPA and the pending move to restart the currently dormant bank. The Ex-Im Bank is billed as an independent federal agency that helps U.S. companies expand their overseas sales.

The Texas senator even went so far as to charge that McConnell has engaged in “the same procedural abuse” that his predecessor, Harry Reid, “did over and over and over again.”

A Politico piece on the extraordinary Cruz floor speech says that the GOP senator’s outburst was a rare and stunning break with the “traditions of the usually decorous chamber.” Publicly calling out a colleague in such a direct and accusatory fashion is generally considered a no-no.

In a scathing floor speech, the Texas firebrand accused the Senate majority leader of breaking his word to him and the rest of the GOP conference over McConnell’s plans for the controversial Export-Import Bank, the country’s chief export credit agency. In Cruz’s telling, McConnell privately promised him and other Republicans that “there was no deal” with a handful of senators who were seeking to revive the bank in exchange for their votes to advance a major trade bill in May.

While Ted Cruz is often considered a firebrand known for speaking his mind and not worrying about ticking off the GOP establishment, for him to go in front of his fellow senators as well as the C-Span audience with this kind of harsh accusation could be called a “shocker” by a lot of people, even Cruz fans.

Some might wonder if Cruz — lagging far behind his GOP rivals in most presidential polls — could be taking a cue from the wildly outspoken Donald Trump, who has certainly gained attention and popularity of late with his bold and brazen accusations. Of course, contrary to the style in which Trump tends to shoot from what you might call “the verbal hip,” Sen. Cruz was more measured and methodical in laying out his argument that Mitch McConnell is a scheming, manipulative liar.

By clicking on the video above, you can see for yourself what Ted Cruz had to say that has caused such a media stir on a Friday afternoon and could prove to be “the shot heard round the Senate” in a new battlefront between staunch conservatives and the power-wielding establishment.

What do you think? Was Cruz out of line or on the mark in his criticism of Mitch McConnell? Join the conversation by leaving your comment below.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth