"The bill will destroy 800,000 American jobs," said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., citing a study by the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute. "It will increase class sizes and take teachers out of the classrooms ... It will jeopardize homeless veterans, make our communities less secure, threaten America's innovation."
The president's resolve against the measure will only be stiffened after votes like a 240-185 tally to block Planned Parenthood from receiving any federal money, a big victory for social conservatives like Mike Pence, R-Ind., the amendment's sponsor.
Debate over the abortion issue grew intense Thursday night, when Rep. Christopher Smith, R-N.J., read a description of a graphic second-trimester abortion procedure on the House floor.
Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., responded with an emotional speech disclosing having undergone an abortion as her 17-week pregnancy was failing. "For you to stand on this floor and to suggest as you have that somehow this is a procedure that is either welcomed or done cavalierly or done without any thought is preposterous," she said.
Foes of the Environmental Protection Agency won a 249-176 vote to block the agency from using its regulatory powers to curb greenhouse gases. EPA has already taken steps to regulate global warming pollution from vehicles and the largest factories and industrial plants and is expected to soon roll out rules that target refineries and power plants.
Republicans also prevailed in more parochial issues, with Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., winning a close vote to block the government from removing hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River, while Robert Goodlatte, R-Va., won a 230-195 vote to block an EPA plan for cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay that would cut pollution from farms and municipalities throughout the Chesapeake watershed.
And Florida agricultural interests won a vote to block EPA rules issued last year aimed at controlling fertilizer and other pollutants that stoke the spread of algae in the state's waters.
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