The Republican House approved the spending proposal in the wee hours of Sunday that included a so-called "conscience clause," which allows health insurers and employers to refuse to cover contraceptives and other preventative care for women. That prompted Democrats to revive charges from the 2012 campaign that Republicans were anti-woman.
"At the dead of night, they snuck in a provision ... that specifically targets the women of this country," Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, said.
Under the provision, employers and insurers would not be required to cover birth control, screening for sexually-transmitted diseases, cervical cancer or pregnancy-related diabetes, among other services, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., told reporters Monday.
"Their war on women continues. They cannot seem to stop themselves, so we will stop them. Make no mistake about it," Boxer said, calling for House Republicans to pass a budget bill that funds the government without any caveats.
Boxer charged that Republicans are engaging in "futile brinkmanship" in budget negotiations that abdicates the "basic responsibilities" lawmakers have.
The Democratic senator pointed out that the repeal of the medical device tax, another provision in the Republican spending bill passed over the weekend, would increase the deficit by nearly $30 billion over the next decade, something she criticized as a "budget-buster."