Anti-Donald Trump Democrats suffered yet another setback on Thursday when Vice President Mike Pence cast a tie-breaking procedural vote that let the Senate continue with an effort to nix an Obama-era rule which blocked states from defunding healthcare providers due to their political beliefs.
The Hill reported that the procedural vote had been stalled in a 50-50 tie before Pence took the floor to cast the deciding vote. All Democrats voted against the bill, as did Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Susan Collins (Maine).
Democrats immediately started whining about Pence’s vote after he cast it.
“Just in case we didn’t already have enough men making decisions on women’s health,” said Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii).
“They’re pushing this resolution so hard today to the point where they bring the vice president to break a tie, it’s safe to bet that Republicans are going to try to attach riders to take away Planned Parenthood funding in the spending bill for the rest of the year,” added Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.).
Meanwhile, Republicans told reporters that getting rid of the regulation gives states more flexibility and push’s back against Obama-era regulatory overreach. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) explained that the regulation had hurt “local communities.”
“It substituted Washington’s judgment for the needs of real people,” he said ahead of the vote. “This regulation is an unnecessary restriction on states that know their residents a lot better than the federal government.”
This was the second tie-breaking vote Pence has cast since becoming Vice President. Last month, he cast the deciding vote to confirm Betsy DeVos as head of the Department of Education. Both Murkowski and Collins had voted with Democrats to oppose her nomination in that vote as well.
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