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McConnell Promises Planned Parenthood Vote

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., joined by, from left, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., speaks during a news conference on Capitol H

Kentucky U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell says colleagues in his chamber will be voting on a bill to defund Planned Parenthood next week. The move comes in the wake of controversy over a series of secretly recorded videos showing representatives of the group discussing fetal tissue donations.

In a speech on the Senate floor, the Republican Majority Leader said the videos shock the conscience and warrant decisive action by Congress.

"We introduced legislation last night that would ensure taxpayer dollars for women’s health are spent on women’s health, not a scandal-plagued political lobbying giant. It’s a simple choice," McConnell said.

Lawmakers are also pressing Health and Human Services to investigate the organization, whose president has described the videos as a “smear campaign” that inaccurately implies that the group profits from selling fetal tissue for medical experiments.

"This is an important issue that has strong passion and strong beliefs about the importance of the research and other beliefs," HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell said during a hearing covered by C-SPAN Tuesday. "And what I think is important is that our HHS funding is focused on the issues of preventative care for women, things like mammograms and cancer prevention screenings, with regard to our relationship there."

The Senate is expected to vote on the defunding bill before legislators leave for an August recess.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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