McConnell tees up ‘clean’ continuing resolution

Source: Geof Koss, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, September 25, 2015

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) this afternoon filed a “clean” continuing resolution, after the upper chamber rejected a stopgap funding measure that would have defunded Planned Parenthood.

With this afternoon’s failed 52-47 vote on the CR, McConnell demonstrated what he’s been saying for weeks: that Republicans lack the votes in the Senate to block Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funds.

Senators today said they anticipate sending the clean version to the House early next week, where conservatives have vowed to oppose any spending measure that funds Planned Parenthood.

The group has drawn the ire of conservatives after videos emerged of an employee discussing the use of fetal tissue for research purposes.

Echoing other Senate Republicans, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) told E&ENews PM today that while he opposes funding the group, lawmakers will have to take “another route.”

“We weren’t sent here to shut down the government,” he said.

The House’s next moves on keeping the federal government open past Sept. 30 are unclear, although sending an alternate CR back to the Senate may not provide the upper chamber with sufficient time to act before next Wednesday, the end of the fiscal year.

Reporter Hannah Northey contributed.