By ALAN FRAM | Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate will vote before its August recess on an effort to block federal aid to Planned Parenthood, presidential hopeful Sen. Rand Paul said Tuesday.
Paul, R-Ky., said that win or lose, simply having the vote will be “a huge victory for conservatives” opposed to abortion.
Winning will be an uphill climb because Paul and his supporters will need 60 of the Senate’s 100 votes to prevail. There are 54 Republicans and just a small handful of anti-abortion Democrats.
Asked about Paul’s statement, Donald Stewart, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said McConnell “is working with a group of his members to address this horrific issue with the goal of taking a vote before Congress adjourns for the August recess.”
Planned Parenthood has been under fire since some of its officials have appeared in videos, secretly recorded by an anti-abortion group, discussing procedures for obtaining fetal tissue for research.
Planned Parenthood has said it has done nothing illegal or improper. It receives more than $500 million annually in government aid, including some state funds.
Paul, who has been toward the bottom in public opinion polls on GOP presidential candidates, credited his “persistence” in achieving a Senate vote.
House Republicans say there are no plans for a vote in that chamber before it begins its recess, probably on Wednesday. The Senate is scheduled to leave the Capitol at the end of next week.