Here’s why Mitch McConnell’s vote against defunding Planned Parenthood was smart

mitchmcconnellThe Senate vote to defund Planned Parenthood failed in a 53-46 vote on Monday (60 votes were needed), but many on social media took note that two Republicans voted against the bill: Mark Kirk of Illinois, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Kirk’s vote was expected, as he is in a blue state and facing a tough reelection. McConnell’s vote, however, caught many off guard, and they assumed he had betrayed his Republican colleagues. They even voiced their disgust online, but they did not realize McConnell was playing a much smarter game, one that would allow the bill to live on instead of die after a single defeat.

Steve Eichler of misled many of his followers when he sent an email attacking McConnell over the vote, calling him “an arch-enabler of Obama’s anti-freedom designs. We’re sick of this phony and demanding his dismissal.” He then asked followers for donations to do that. It should be noted that, unlike real Tea Party groups, does not provide any visible support to Tea Party politicians, candidates, or local chapters. They seem to exist only to serve themselves, so it is doubtful that they give anything to the cause, while benefiting from Tea Party supporter donations.

In a statement to TheBlaze, McConnell spokesman Michael Brumas explained the vote in further detail:

Leader McConnell is a strong supporter of the legislation and in fact was a co-sponsor when the bill was introduced last week. Under Senate procedure, when a cloture motion to proceed to the measure fails to pass with the required 60 votes, the Majority Leader may switch his ‘yes’ vote to ‘no,’ which allows him bring it up for reconsideration at a future time. Leader McConnell would have voted in favor of the bill but in order to preserve his right to bring it up again, he simply changed his vote to ‘no.’

McConnell knew the bill did not have the 60 votes needed to pass. There are only 54 Republicans in the Senate, meaning six Democrats would have to cross over and support defunding Planned Parenthood. Only two Democrats crossed over: Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Joe Manchin of West Virginia. With Kirk voting no, and Lindsey Graham not present to vote (he was the only senator running for President who did not return to vote), the gap was too wide to close.

With McConnell switching his vote to “no,” he ensures the bill still has life. Should more Planned Parenthood videos turn public opinion (and some Democrats), McConnell can call for a new vote. Without the switch, the Republicans would have to start from square one in the legislative process, allowing Democrats more options to stop the bill. So, contrary to what some may say, McConnell was playing it smart, and gave the “Defund Planned Parenthood” movement a second chance.

About Victor Medina

Victor Medina is a freelance writer based in Dallas. He is the editor of, and his other writing credits include The Dallas Morning News, Yahoo News, and He has served as a Dallas County election judge and on the Board of Directors of The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in Dallas. He is a member of the leadership team of the Cafe con Leche Republicans. You can follow him on his blog, or on Twitter at @mrvictormedina. He can be reached by email at
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  • Christopher Blanchard

    This is total BS, Mitch McConnell cannot be trusted.

  • Charles W. Bell

    if this was true why was the next vote was a voice vote to fully fund Planned Parenthood besides claiming switching his vote to “no,” he ensures the bill still has life is a fable he knows there are a lot more videos

  • Kim Smith

    Too bad, those of us that were paying attention weeks ago, know that this is not quite true. McConnel publicly filled the ammendment tree, the days leading up to the vote. This is a little trick invented or at least used, by Harry Reid. McConnel campaigned last year promising to stop the dirty tricks in the house, and yet, here we are. He has also publicly said that yes, by voting NO, this can be introduced in the future, but as a stand alone bill instead of as an amendment. McConnel should have allowed the defunding of PP to be an amendment to the highway bill. Only 50 votes would have been needed in the Senate, which he had. A stand alone bill will never pass because they need a 2/3 majority in both houses. That will never happen. This is all a sick game. Both houses and every politician in governorships, judges, or anyone else, whoever can still defend what is happening has proven that we have truly crossed a line that should never have been crossed. We are showing our kids and the world that we value no life. But aside from that, this has shown us exactly how corrupt our politics have become. THEY ARE NO LONGER REPRESENTING THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE. OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS IGNORE THE MAJORITY AND VOTE WITH WHATEVER LOBBYIST PAYS THEM THE MOST FOR THEIR VOTE. THERE ARE STILL MORE AMERICANS OF NON HISPANIC BIRTH THAN THERE ARE HISPANICS, LEGAL OR ILLEGAL AND YET THEY ALL PANDER FOR THE HISPANIC VOTE, WITHOUT CARING ABOUT OUR VOTES. THIS IS BECAUSE HISPANIC LOBBYISTS PAY MILLION, HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS TO CONTROL OUR ELECTED. THE SAME WITH THE INVASION OF MUSLIMS. 3.6 MILLION SINCE OBAMA TOOK OFFICE, 700,000 EXPECTED BETWEEN SEPT AND JANUARY. THESE ARE WHO OUR ELECTED CARE ABOUT NOW, SO BEFORE WE LOSE THE CHANCE, VOTE THEM ALL OUT OF OFFICE.