A pair of Democrats – Reps. Mark Critz (Pa.) and Silvestre Reyes (Texas) — flipped their votes on the two separate occasions this year that the House voted to bar federal funding of Planned Parenthood.
On February 18, when the House approved an amendment offered by Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) that would defund Planned Parenthood, 10 Democrats joined all but seven Republicans in voting in favor of the measure.
Those 10 Democrats were Reyes and Reps. Dan Boren (Okla.), Jerry Costello (Ill.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Dan Lipinski (Ill.), Mike McIntyre (N.C.), Collin Peterson (Minn.), Nick Rahall (W.Va.), Mike Ross (Ark.) and Heath Shuler (N.C.).
Two months later, on April 14, the House again approved a measure to defund Planned Parenthood, a vote that came as part of the deal negotiated among congressional leaders and the White House to avert a government shutdown. (As part of the deal, the Senate also voted on the Planned Parenthood measure.)
In April, as in February, 10 Democrats bucked their party in voting for the measure while seven Republicans opposed it.
But the 10 Democrats this time were Reps. Boren, Costello, Donnelly, Lipinski, McIntyre, Peterson, Rahall, Ross and Shuler as well as Critz, who had voted “no” on the February measure. Reyes, who had voted “yes” back in February, was a “no” vote two months later.
“The Congressman didn’t believe these types of social issues should be used as leverage to shutdown the government and voted against it,” said Claudia Ordaz, a spokeswoman for Reyes. A spokesman for Critz did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Critz is one of eight lawmakers who have been targeted by Planned Parenthood’s political arm for their votes in favor of defunding the organization. The group went up with radio ads last month against a group of eight House members, which includes seven Republicans and one Democrat, Critz.