The Senate Wednesday failed to get enough support for its reversal plan of the recent Supreme Court Hobby Lobby ruling that will allow some employers to decline providing insurance coverage for some forms of birth control based on religious grounds.
The senate voted 56-43 with one abstention, lacking the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture and place a time limit on consideration of the bill, as the vote largely went down party lines. There were, however, three Republican senators who voted for the bill: Illinois Mark Kirk, Alaskas Lisa Murkowski and Maines Susan Collins.
The bill, sponsored by Democratic Sens. Patty Murray (Wash.) and Mark Udall (Colo.), would have barred for-profit companies from opting out of federal law based on the religious beliefs of their owners.
Also See: Industry reacts to Hobby Lobby decision
The Supreme Court on June 30 ruled 5-4 that closely held companies can opt out of providing certain types of birth control due to religious opposition. Within less than a fortnight, the Senate introduced the nine-page legislation that would counteract the decision.
The issue has been largely divided between the political parties, and following the SCOTUS ruling, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) praised the courts ruling in a July 1 statement. The decision is a victory for religious freedom and another defeat for an administration that has repeatedly crossed constitutional lines in pursuit of its Big Government objectives, he says.
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