Senate Fails to Override Biden Rule Funding Abortion Industry

A tie vote in the Senate on Wednesday allowed Joe Biden’s repeal of the Trump-era Protect Life Rule applying to federal family planning funding to stand. As a result the abortion industry will continue to have access to millions of dollars of taxpayer funds as directed by Biden.

President Donald Trump’s Protect Life Rule was an amendment to Title X family planning funding. Title X was initiated during the Nixon administration to provide funding for birth control to low-income and uninsured persons.

The Trump rule required “clear financial and physical separation” between Title X funding and any program or facility using “abortion as a method of family planning.” The rule also ended Title X funding for any program or facility providing women referrals for abortions as a method of family planning.

Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services formally eliminated the Protect Life Rule as it applied to Title X funding last fall. That change will lead to the restoration of almost $60 million of annual federal taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) led a group of Senate Republicans in forcing a vote this week on a “joint resolution of disapproval” of the rule change. Such a resolution is allowed under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). The CRA provides Congress with the power to invalidate administrative regulations such as the repeal of the Protect Life Rule by resolution.

The Wednesday vote resulted in a 49-49 tie vote, meaning the resolution failed.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) joined with 48 Republicans in voting to restore the Trump rule. Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) joined with the Democrats to deny the Republicans the votes needed to pass the resolution. Sens. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) were absent for the vote.

Collins and Murkowski regularly vote against pro-life measures. Collins will not stand for reelection until 2026, while Murkowski is running this year.

Murkowksi is being challenged by Trump-endorsed Kelly Tshibaka. She is the former Alaska Department of Administration commissioner and currently leads the incumbent Murkowski in recent polling, 51 percent to 49 percent.

Biden’s repeal of the Protect Life Rule comes amid a variety of administrative actions to promote elective abortion on demand.

He repealed the Mexico City Policy in his first week in office. That rule had prohibited foreign aid dollars from being sent to international organizations involved with providing abortions. He later created his White House Gender Policy Council that promotes abortions in the U.S. and globally. His administration also created the HHS Reproductive Healthcare Access Task Force that looks for and eliminates pro-life federal policies in existing programs while normalizing abortion in the public view.