WASHINGTON (AP) -- Staving off Democratic opponents, the House voted to preserve President Bush's order barring $425 million in U.S. aid for global family planning from groups that advocate abortion rights.
The provision, which passed 218-210 on Wednesday, was attached to an $8.2 billion State Department reauthorization bill. Thirty-two Democrats joined Republican supporters in passing the abortion provision, offsetting votes of 33 Republicans who voted against the amendment.
The overall State Department bill -- approved later Wednesday by a 352-73 vote-- also included an amendment that would withhold about $625,000 in aid to Lebanon until that country secures its borders with Israel.
The abortion provision prompted the most intense debate of the day. At one point, floor leaders extended debate time to accommodate the scores of lawmakers that came to the House floor.
Bush implemented the policy in an executive order during his first week in office. But Democrats on the House International Relations Committee included a provision in the committee's version of the State Department bill that overturned the president's order. Wednesday's amendment removed that order.
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