For Immediate Release
March 12, 2018
Heller Stokes Justice Kennedy Retirement Rumors, Motivates Anti-Choice Backers for GOP Primary
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Vulnerable Senator Dean Heller is so desperate to save his seat, he's privately stoking rumors about Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement as a way to motivate anti-choice supporters to help him win a tough GOP primary in June. Heller's backers like National Right to Life have their eyes set toward overturning Roe v. Wade, defunding Planned Parenthood, and undermining women's access to life-saving care.
“Vulnerable Senator Dean Heller's campaign is struggling in the face of a nasty primary, so he's offering more desperate panders to his most far-right supporters,” said Christina Reynolds, vice president of communications at EMILY's List. “Just like when he publicly pledged to protect Planned Parenthood and then broke that promise the next day, Heller is showing he will say anything for his own political gain. Dean Heller can't be trusted to side with Nevada women and families.”
Dean Heller Voted With The President 96 Percent Of The Time in 2017. During 2017, on recorded votes that Donald Trump had taken a position on, Dean Heller voted with the President 96 percent of the time. [CQ, Senate Vote Study Scores, 2017]
April 17, 2017: Promised to “Protect” Planned Parenthood and Said He Had No Problems with Federally Funding the Organization. “Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) said Monday during a combative town hall that he supports federal funding for Planned Parenthood. ‘I have no problems with federal funding for Planned Parenthood,’ Heller said when asked about his support for the health organization […] He said lawmakers would 'continue to look at this issue' before adding: ‘I will protect Planned Parenthood.’” [The Hill, 4/17/17]
• April 18, 2017: Spokeswoman Said Heller Was Opposed to Federal Funding for Planned Parenthood. “Megan Taylor, a spokeswoman for Heller, clarified his position after the town hall, telling the Las Vegas Review Journal that the GOP senator has a 'long record' of opposing federal funding for organizations that provide abortions. 'While he doesn’t have a problem with many of the health care services Planned Parenthood offers to women, he is opposed to providing federal funding to any organization that performs abortions and is supported by taxpayer dollars,' she said.” [The Hill, 4/21/17]
Voted for the Restoring Americans' Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015. In December 2015, Heller voted for the Health Care Law Reconciliation package that included defunding of Planned Parenthood for one year. According President Obama's veto message, “This legislation would not only repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act, but would reverse the significant progress we have made in improving health care in America […] The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the legislation would increase the number of uninsured Americans by 22 million after 2017. The Council of Economic Advisers estimates that this reduction in health care coverage could mean, each year, more than 900,000 fewer people getting all their needed care, more than 1.2 million additional people having trouble paying other bills due to higher medical costs, and potentially more than 10,000 additional deaths. This legislation would cost millions of hard-working middle-class families the security of affordable health coverage they deserve. Reliable health care coverage would no longer be a right for everyone: it would return to being a privilege for a few […] The Reconciliation Act would also effectively defund Planned Parenthood.” The bill passed the Senate 52-47 with 52 Republicans voting for it. [HR 3762, Vote #329, 12/03/15; White House, 1/08/16]
Voted to Advance a Bill to Prohibit Federal Funding of Planned Parenthood. In August 2015, Heller voted for a motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed on a bill to prohibit federal funding of Planned Parenthood. “The bill, S. 1881, was drafted by a ‘working group’ led by Sens. Joni Ernst (R-IA), Rand Paul (R-KY), and James Lankford (R-OK), and has at least 32 Republican co-sponsors […] The bill to be voted on Monday would prohibit any federal funds from going to Planned Parenthood. It says, ‘All funds no longer available to Planned Parenthood will continue to be made available to other eligible entities to provide women’s health care services.’” Not having reached 60 votes, the measure failed in the Senate 53-46 with 51 Republicans voting for it. [S. 1881, Vote #262, 8/03/15]
Voted for a Joint Resolution to Allow States to Defund Planned Parenthood. On March 30, 2017 Heller voted for Republican Rep. Diane Black’s “joint resolution that would disapprove and nullify a Health and Human Services Department rule that prevents states that distribute federal family planning funding from prohibiting participation and receipt of funds by health care providers, such as Planned Parenthood, for any reason other than their ability to provide family planning services.” The joint resolution passed 50-50 with Vice President Mike Pence breaking the tie. President Trump signed the resolution into law. [H.J. Res. 43, Vote #101, 3/30/17; CQ News, 3/30/17]
Voted for a Bill to Exclude Planned Parenthood from Participating in a Program to Combat the Zika Virus. In June 2016, Heller voted for a motion to invoke cloture on the conference report for an appropriations package containing $1.1 billion to combat the Zika virus and $82.5 billion in fiscal 2017 Military Construction-VA discretionary spending. According to CQ, “The most frequent objection from Democrats is language they claim would severely limit access to contraception in Puerto Rico. The territory has recorded more than 1,800 cases of Zika, which can be sexually transmitted or spread by mosquitoes. Specifically, a $95 million allocation for social services block grants, mostly tabbed for use in Puerto Rico, is limited to services from public health departments and hospitals or reimbursable through public health plans. Democrats have complained the language leaves out family planning clinics that focus on contraception, including the Planned Parenthood affiliate Profamilias.” The motion failed in the Senate 52-48, short of the 60 needed to advance. [H.R. 2577, Vote #112, 6/28/16; CQ News, 6/30/16]
Voted for the Restoring Americans' Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act, a Bill to Repeal Key Pieces of Obamacare. In December 2015, Heller voted for a bill that would repeal central tenets of the Affordable Care Act. “The package, which the Senate expanded before passing in December, would remove the penalties used to enforce the mandates that most individuals have health coverage and large employers offer it to their workers. In 2018, it would repeal the law’s Medicaid expansion and its subsidies to help low- and middle-income individuals buy health coverage through the new insurance exchanges. The measure also would scrap a lengthy list of taxes used to help offset the cost of the health law, including the taxes on medical devices, health insurers and so-called ‘Cadillac’ employer-sponsored health plans that will receive temporary suspensions under the year-end funding and tax package (PL 114-113). In addition, the package would stop most federal money from flowing to Planned Parenthood for one year and boost funding for community health centers.” [HR3762, Vote #329, 12/03/15; CQ News, 1/07/16]
EMILYs List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, has raised over $500 million to support pro-choice Democratic women candidates – making them one of the most successful political organizations ever. Our grassroots community of over five million members helps Democratic women wage competitive campaigns – and win. We recruit and train candidates, support strong campaigns, research the issues that impact women and families, and turn out women voters. Since our founding in 1985, we have helped elect 116 women to the House, 23 to the Senate, 12 governors, and over 800 to state and local office. Forty percent of the candidates EMILYs List has helped elect to Congress have been women of color. Since the 2016 election, thousands of women and counting have reached out to us about running for office. To harness this energy, EMILYs List has launched Run to Win, an unprecedented effort to get more women to run at the local, state, and national levels.