Senate passes budget bill repealing Obamacare, defunding Planned Parenthood

Updated 12:14 PM EST, Fri December 4, 2015
A Planned Parenthood location is seen on August 5, 2015 in New York City.
Andrew Burton/Getty Images
A Planned Parenthood location is seen on August 5, 2015 in New York City.
Now playing
02:27
The GOP rhetoric against Planned Parenthood
CNN
Now playing
01:44
Richards: Trump administration worst for women
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 21:  Cecile Richards attends the Women's March on Washington on January 21, 2017 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)
Theo Wargo/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 21: Cecile Richards attends the Women's March on Washington on January 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:27
Pro-choice activist: White women can do better
A Planned Parenthood office is seen on November 30, 2015 in New York City.
Andrew Burton/Getty Images
A Planned Parenthood office is seen on November 30, 2015 in New York City.
Now playing
01:15
Trump signs anti-Planned Parenthood law
laura jarrett cecile richards planned parenthood womens march washington_00003810.jpg
laura jarrett cecile richards planned parenthood womens march washington_00003810.jpg
Now playing
04:03
Planned Parenthood president: 'Listen to women'
fight to save obamacare marquez pkg ac_00000415.jpg
WGCL
fight to save obamacare marquez pkg ac_00000415.jpg
Now playing
02:42
What is being done to save Obamacare?
Now playing
02:24
Ryan: I want women to get the care they need
Now playing
05:25
Demand for IUDs reportedly surging with Trump
planned parenthood Chaffetz  Wolf intv tsr_00000000.jpg
planned parenthood Chaffetz Wolf intv tsr_00000000.jpg
Now playing
02:01
Chaffetz goes toe-to-toe with Blitzer
Now playing
01:58
Richards: GOP plan boosts unplanned pregnancy
Now playing
00:51
Christie: Defund Planned Parenthood
ben carson planned parenthood intv lead _00013606.jpg
ben carson planned parenthood intv lead _00013606.jpg
Now playing
01:58
Carson: Planned Parenthood is willing to 'destroy' sanctity of life
SOTU Rand Paul on Planned Parenthood 8-2_00000501.jpg
SOTU Rand Paul on Planned Parenthood 8-2_00000501.jpg
Now playing
03:54
Rand Paul vows to defund Planned Parenthood
planned-parenthood laguens intv newday _00001711.jpg
planned-parenthood laguens intv newday _00001711.jpg
Now playing
06:00
Planned Parenthood executive slams GOP questioning
DES MOINES, IA - JANUARY 25:  Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) participates in a town hall forum hosted by CNN at Drake University on January 25, 2016 in Des Moines, Iowa. Sanders is in Iowa trying to gain support in front of the states Feb. 1 caucuses.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
DES MOINES, IA - JANUARY 25: Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) participates in a town hall forum hosted by CNN at Drake University on January 25, 2016 in Des Moines, Iowa. Sanders is in Iowa trying to gain support in front of the states Feb. 1 caucuses. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:19
Sanders: 'Expand funding for Planned Parenthood'
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 17: The sun begins to rise behind the U.S. Capitol building on the morning after a bipartisan bill was passed by the House and the Senate to reopened the government and raise the debt limit, on October 17, 2013 in Washington, DC. President Obama signed the bill into law, that will fund the government until January 15, 2014 and allow the government to pay bills until February 7, 2014.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 17: The sun begins to rise behind the U.S. Capitol building on the morning after a bipartisan bill was passed by the House and the Senate to reopened the government and raise the debt limit, on October 17, 2013 in Washington, DC. President Obama signed the bill into law, that will fund the government until January 15, 2014 and allow the government to pay bills until February 7, 2014.
Now playing
02:09
Planned Parenthood vote fails
planned parenthood house gop richards sot_00012017.jpg
planned parenthood house gop richards sot_00012017.jpg
Now playing
01:42
House grills Planned Parenthood president
sot point richards planned parenthood_00014015
sot point richards planned parenthood_00014015
Now playing
03:33
Planned Parenthood decries 'bullies'

Story highlights

Senate Republicans are moving forward a budget bill to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood

Lawmakers also debated gun control measures one day following the mass shooting in Southern California

Washington CNN —  

The Senate Thursday approved on a largely party line vote a budget bill that would repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood, two top priorities of Republicans who control the chamber.

Not to be outdone, Democrats seized the debate to try to force votes on gun control legislation that could put some Republicans in a politically tough position as the country is reeling from a recent spate of mass shootings.

By voting to nullify Obamacare – the signature domestic accomplishment of the Obama administration – GOP congressional leaders fulfilled a longtime pledge to voters and rank-and-file members to get a repeal to President Barack Obama’s desk, even though he will veto it.

Republican leaders also want to send an unmistakable message to voters: If you elect a GOP president next year and keep the them in charge of Congress, Obamacare will go.

“It demonstrates that if you have a president prepared to support health care reform, it could pass next time,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, a vocal critic of the Affordable Care Act who insisted this was not a show vote just because the President will veto the bill. “If this vote occurred after the next presidential election, instead of vetoing it the President would sign it. This would force a bipartisan reevaluation of health care in America and put us in a position to make major changes.”

The bill would also cut off federal funding to Planned Parenthood, the women’s health group that provides abortions and has long under GOP scrutiny. Republicans’ passions to cutoff taxpayer dollars to the organization increased in recent months when videos were released that purported to show Planned Parenthood executives selling the tissue of aborted fetuses to researchers.

Paul Ryan’s vision for a ‘confident America’

While the House and Senate have voted scores of times to repeal portions of Obamacare, this was the first time they are using a special tool known as “budget reconciliation” that allow the measure to clear the Senate with just 51 votes instead of the 60 votes typically required for major legislation. That higher threshold has allowed Democrats to block all past repeal efforts.

By steering these two hot-button issues into the reconciliation bill, Republican leaders also steered them away from a separate must-pass government funding bill Congress is dealing with now known as the omnibus. Had those controversial issues been included in that bill, it would have made even harder to pass before the December 11 deadline when the government could shut down.

As with Obamacare, Senate Democrats have blocked recent efforts to defund the organization so the reconciliation bill became the GOP’s best option to move the measure.

“Middle class Americans continue to call on Washington to build a bridge away from Obamacare. They want better care. They want real health reform,” argued Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “For too long, Democrats did everything t