Roll Call reports that the seven Republican representatives who voted against the Pence amendment to defund Planned Parenthood are walking “a political tightrope.”
The Republicans in question are Robert Dold (Ill.), Richard Hanna (N.Y.), Judy Biggert (Ill.), Mary Bono Mack (Calif.), Charlie Dent (Pa.), Rodney Frelinghuysen (N.J.) and Charles Bass (N.H.).
The vote may cause problems for these Republicans down the line:
“Without question, there will be consequences,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List, told Roll Call when asked about the seven Republicans. “It’s not just our group, but others are very focused on those folks, and our allies have proven a willingness to get involved in primaries when it matters.”
Abortion fights resonate nationally and help gin up both grass-roots interest in elections and fundraising pushes. But most of these Republicans could be in bigger trouble back home if they move too far to the right. Many represent socially moderate swing districts that moved to the Republican column in 2010 when the focus was on the economy and federal spending.
Ironically, despite the attention paid to their vote in favor of Planned Parenthood funding, all seven Republicans eventually voted for H.R. 1, the bill the House passed on Feb. 19 to continue to fund the government. H.R. 1 included defunding of Planned Parenthood and several other draconian cuts that would have a disproportionate impact on the poor and people of color.
Still, Obama has vowed not to sign the House resolution should it pass the Senate — a move that is unlikely. Understanding this, the House and Senate agreed on a continuing resolution to fund the government for two more weeks, avoiding a government shutdown, while Republicans and Democrats hammer out a suitable deal.