Dold breaks with Republicans on Planned Parenthood vote

Republican Bob Dold and Democrat Daniel Lipinski were among only five U.S. House members who broke with their party over the vote to strip Planned Parenthood of federal money today.

Dold, a Kenilworth Republican, voted against defunding planned parenthood, and Rep. Daniel Lipinski of Western Springs was a rare Democrat in Congress who voted to do it.

The rest of the Illinois delegation voted along party lines, with Republicans wanted to take funding away from the group after controversial videos emerged showing Planned Parenthood executives discussing fetuses for research purposes.

"We must remain vigilant in our fight to protect the most vulnerable among us - those infants and the unborn who are unable to protect themselves," U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam of Wheaton said in a statement. He was joined by Republican U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren of Plano in voting for the plan.

Democrats voted against the move, arguing the group provides important health care services to women.

"I am disappointed that instead of tackling the many important issues we face, House Republicans are continuing to focus on their divisive, partisan agenda," U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, a Naperville Democrat, said in a statement. Other Democratic Reps. Jan Schakowsky of Evanston, Tammy Duckworth of Hoffman Estates and Mike Quigley of Chicago voted against defunding Planned Parenthood.

Those videos have helped raise the longtime political fight over abortion into a prominent issue for next year's elections.

Dold is running for re-election in one of the most hotly contested races in the country, and Democrat Brad Schneider of Deerfield is angling for another race with him. He's set to face Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering in the March Democratic primary.

Dold had previously offered legislation to replace the proposal voted on today with a plan that would have taken federal funding from a handful of clinics nationwide that get money for aborted fetus tissue while they were investigated for 90 days.

"I do not support cutting access to basic health services for women, but as even Secretary (Hillary) Clinton has said, the undercover videos are disturbing and demand action," Dold said.

Schneider said Dold's vote was an attempt to "have it both ways" on the issue.

"Women's health shouldn't have to wait for three months," Schneider said.

The House vote would block Planned Parenthood's federal funds for a year, as Republican leaders tried to keep GOP outrage over abortion from spiraling into an impasse with President Barack Obama that could shut down the government.

The House voted 241-187 for the legislation, with just three Republicans and two Democrats defecting from their party lines. The measure stands little chance of enactment, since Senate Democrats have enough votes to block it and for good measure the White House has promised a veto.

• The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Dan Lipinski
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