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U.S. Senate rejects measure defunding Planned Parenthood, repealing Obamacare

The U.S. Senate rejected a proposal Wednesday to repeal portions of the Affordable Care Act over two years without replacement and to defund Planned Parenthood. The vote, which came down during the second day of deliberation, failed on a 45-55 vote, with seven Republicans siding against it.

The measure is similar to a bill passed by the Senate in 2015, which was vetoed by then-President Barack Obama. GOP Senators Lamar Alexander, Shelley Moore Capito, Susan Collins, Dean Heller, John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, and Rob Portman voted against the straight repeal.

The Senate may now vote on a “skinny” repeal to undo certain portions of the Affordable Care Act, which would leave most of Obama’s health care law in place. The repeal could contain language to defund Planned Parenthood, or could be amended to strip the abortion giant of taxpayer funding. Pro-life groups are calling on senators to ensure that the final version of the bill contains provisions to defund Planned Parenthood and to ensure that tax dollars do not fund abortions through health insurance plans.

On Tuesday, the Senate approved a motion to open debate on health care, and lawmakers have been in an hours-long deliberation to introduce amendments to the bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in May. A proposal that would have repealed major portions of Obamacare with a replacement, however, also failed.

Senate Republicans have been divided over how to replace and repeal Obamacare, with conservative members saying proposals do not go far enough.

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