Patty in the News

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said Thursday that Republican pressure to include a rider to a budget deal defunding Planned Parenthood is “stunning” to her as a woman and that Senate leadership will not back down in their support of women’s health issues.

“I am really stunned. And I am angry as a woman that we have come to this after weeks of negotiating on numbers… that there are those in the Republican party in the House who are willing to shutdown the government, take people’s paychecks away from them because they want to deny women access to health care in this country,” Murray told reporters. “Every woman and every man in this country ought to be saying, ‘What are you doing?’”

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said repeatedly Thursday that the spending talks between Senate Democrats, the White House and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) essentially have broken down in the 11th hour not over figures but over “ideology.”

Reid devoted much of his floor remarks, and then later statement in a press conference, to discussing the women’s health-based negotiations sticking point.

Murray’s plea Thursday, though, had a more personal and passionate tone, saying that the budget talk developments late Wednesday evening and early Thursday morning regarding abortion rights were “stunning to me as a woman.”

Senate Republicans Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine already have indicated publicly that they would not support the House GOP plan to cut off government funds from Planned Parenthood. Thursday, advocates for the organization rallied at the Capitol.

“We in the Senate are going to stand up,” Murray said. “We are not going to allow them to push us into taking away women’s right to health care access in order to keep the government funded.”

Reid and Boehner are slated to meet with President Barack Obama at the White House Thursday afternoon.

- Politico