Tags: mike pence | vote | tie beaker | women | healthcare

Pence Casts Tiebreaking Vote on Reversing Obama Rule on Women's Healthcare

Image: Pence Casts Tiebreaking Vote on Reversing Obama Rule on Women's Healthcare
Vice President Mike Pence (AP Images)

By    |   Thursday, 30 Mar 2017 01:18 PM

Vice President Mike Pence broke a tie in a procedural vote to push forward a Senate plan to roll back a regulation of former President Barack Obama. The procedural vote stalled out at 50-50, and Pence cast the 51st vote in its favor, according to The Hill.

The Obama rule required state and local governments to distribute federal funds for women's health, including contraception, fertility, and pregnancy care to providers regardless of whether or not those providers offer abortions.

Two Republican senators — Alaska's Lisa Murkowski and Maine's Susan Collins — joined the 48 Senate Democrats in voting against the end of debate on the bill. A final vote on removing the rule could happen Thursday afternoon, The Hill report said.

Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson returned to cast the vote that created the tie. He had been recovering from two back surgeries and had not voted since Feb. 17. Republican leadership held the vote open while waiting on him to arrive.

"What's going on with this Senate vote? The VP needs to break the tie & harm women's health," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a note to reporters while waiting on Isakson.

Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono, a Democrat, also rebuked Pence's vote, in a tweet:

Washington Democrat Patty Murray said that she assumed Republicans would put riders to remove Planned Parenthood funding in the spending bill that is in the works.

Before the vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it was necessary to preserve local rule.

"It substituted Washington's judgments for the needs of real people. This regulation is an unnecessary restriction on states that know their residents a lot better than the federal government," he said, according to The Hill.

Pence first cast a tiebreaking vote to confirm Betsy DeVos as secretary of the Department of Education. Before that, no vice president had cast a deciding vote since 2008 when Dick Cheney made a tax legislation vote, The Hill report said.

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Vice President Mike Pence broke a tie in a procedural vote to push forward a Senate plan to roll back a regulation of former President Barack Obama.
mike pence, vote, tie beaker, women, healthcare
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2017-18-30
Thursday, 30 Mar 2017 01:18 PM
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