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WASHINGTON, D.C., March 9, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Some members of the Republican establishment are hoping that the House lawmakers that spearheaded the end to federal funding for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America will soften their stance in upcoming negotiations.

The Democrat-led Senate was scheduled to vote on two versions of the budget bill Wednesday, the House’s version containing the funding cuts, as well as the Senate draft that keeps the funds. Neither are expected to pass, promising a drawn-out battle over which vision for the 2011 fiscal year will make the most gains in the final round.

But as pro-life leaders are pleading with the GOP to stand firm behind the cuts to Planned Parenthood introduced by Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), a Politico report Wednesday pointed to recent comments from Republican magnates encouraging House members to ignore them.

In a column for the Daily Beast, former John McCain adviser Mark McKinnon called the Pence amendment “shortsighted political posturing” and “overreaching.” “It’s why Republicans get a bad name with many independent voters and women,” wrote McKinnon.

Republican donor Dick Scaife also called the funding cut “dead wrong” in a Feb. 27 Pittsburgh Tribune-Review piece, giving a nod to Planned Parenthood’s “reproductive health services” besides abortion. “Abortions are a minor aspect of Planned Parenthood’s mission to provide reproductive health care, education and other services to Americans, regardless of income,” said Scaife.

Planned Parenthood receives about a third of its revenue from government grants. The largest source of funding is revenue generated by its medical services, which is largely accounted for by the lucrative abortion trade.

Pro-life leaders last week said they feared that a stopgap budget bill approved by the GOP, but lacking the cuts, was a foreshadowing of priorities for the final product. When faced with the question by CNS News last week, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor shied away from calling the Planned Parenthood cut “non-negotiable.” A press secretary told the news service upon pressing the issue that “we now need to see where the Senate stands on this and other big issues.”

In a FOX News interview Wednesday morning, the amendment’s author argued that “it’s time to pick a fight” over taxpayer funding of agenda-driven groups.

“We [should seize] this time of a fiscal crisis to say it’s time to end public funding for NPR, it’s time to end public funding for Planned Parenthood of America, these organizations that have a particular viewpoint, that advance a particular liberal viewpoint, ought to do what every other policy organization in this town does and that is raise their own resources to advance their own agenda,” said Rep. Pence.

The White House on Wednesday announced that President Obama strongly opposed the House’s version of the bill and was prepared to veto it. Obama has so far stopped short of promising funds for Planned Parenthood, a longtime political ally.

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