WASHINGTON, July 27, 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com) - On Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blocked efforts by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) to defund Planned Parenthood. The efforts come in light of video exposés revealing the abortion conglomerate profiting off the sale of fetal body parts.
By attaching an amendment to the Congress' must-pass Highway Bill, Senator Lee hoped to end all federal funds to the abortion conglomerate, a move that McConnell and several of his Republican colleagues rejected, calling the amendment "out of order" as it was not germane to the Highway Bill.
McConnell's excuses to thwart Lee's efforts don't hold much water, considering he did attach two amendments to the bill — one to repeal ObamaCare and one to re-authorize the Export-Import Bank — and neither of those were germane to the Highway Bill.
Utilized by Democratic Senator Harry Reid while majority leader, the tactic of allowing only a select number of amendments favored by the majority leader while blocking everyone else is known as "filling the tree." Republicans generally decried Reid's use of "filling the tree" while majority leader, but McConnell seems quite comfortable to use it against his own party, especially against bills to defund Planned Parenthood.
Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) was rebuked by his Senate colleagues on Sunday as he tried to force a vote on defunding Planned Parenthood. Hoping to override McConnell's block, Lee tried to gain support of the needed 10 senators but came up short.
In allegiance with Sen. Lee, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) excoriated McConnell on the Senate floor, saying his actions clearly show intended efforts to block votes on defunding Planned Parenthood.
"There are a host of amendments that the American people are focused on, things like defunding Planned Parenthood after the gruesome video," Cruz said. "The majority leader doesn't want to vote on that. That's actually something the American people are focused on."
According to Ted Cruz, had McConnell not blocked the amendment, then a vote to defund Planned Parenthood may have passed.
"I believe in the power of truth, and what I intend to do is continue serving 27 million Texans and standing up and speaking the truth," Cruz said. "The truth is had the majority leader not opposed us we could have had a binding vote on defunding Planned Parenthood."