Though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Congress is without means to defund Planned Parenthood until a new president is in the White House, leading House Republicans still plan to schedule a vote to end taxpayer support for the nation’s largest abortion provider when House members return to Washington next week.
Spokesperson for House Speaker John Boehner, Emily Schillinger, tells Breitbart News, “Speaker Boehner is the most pro-life Speaker in history, and no one supports defunding Planned Parenthood more than he does.”
“While we haven’t announced the timing yet, there will definitely be another effort to defund in the House,” she adds.
Schillinger explains that the work the House committees are doing will allow more Americans to be aware of Planned Parenthood’s practices.
“The Speaker directed the committees to investigate Planned Parenthood so we can further expose their horrific practices and build the strongest case for defunding this group,” she said. “Throughout the month of August, three committees (Energy and Commerce, Oversight and Government Reform, and Judiciary) have been moving forward with their investigations.”
Rep. Diane Black, the author of the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015, is in favor of any policy solution to cut off taxpayer support of Planned Parenthood, but she does not support a government shutdown to achieve that end.
“Congressman Black has made defunding the Planned Parenthood abortion business her passion project for the better part of 20 years,” a spokesman from Black’s office tells Breitbart News. “She is willing to get behind any viable solution to cut off taxpayer funds to this heartless organization – whether that is a standalone bill, attaching this provision to must-pass legislation, or another policy solution – but a government shutdown simply does not accomplish our end goal.”
Black’s spokesman continued:
Planned Parenthood’s largest government revenue stream is Medicaid funding – a mandatory spending program that would not likely be immediately impacted during a lapse in appropriations. What’s more, during a government shutdown, the Obama administration has discretion to determine what government funding is necessary to “protect life and property.” We all know that President Obama is deeply entwined with the big abortion industry. Who is to say that he wouldn’t attempt to claim that Planned Parenthood meets this threshold? Ultimately, this scenario grants more authority to our radically pro-abortion President and shifts the national discussion away from the horrors of what is happening behind closed doors at Planned Parenthood and onto the effects of a government shutdown on the American people.
“Today, an astounding 70 percent of Americans have heard little to nothing about the organization’s fetal tissue trafficking scandal,” the spokesman added. “Allowing President Obama and congressional Democrats to trigger a government shutdown–an outcome that they undoubtedly want to happen–does not raise awareness of this issue.”
Black’s legislation would use Congress’s power of the purse to place an immediate moratorium on all federal funding–even so-called Obamacare navigator grants–to Planned Parenthood for the span of one year while Congress continues its investigations of the abortion business’ practices.
As Breitbart News reported earlier this week, the Obama administration has just awarded more than $1 million in “navigator” grants to Planned Parenthood affiliates for their efforts to sign consumers up for Obamacare during the upcoming enrollment period.
Black described the administration’s awards while Planned Parenthood is under investigation for such horrific practices as nothing short of “unconscionable.”
“A growing body of evidence suggests that Planned Parenthood broke federal law, and now the Obama administration is thumbing its nose at Congress and taxpayers by using this backdoor maneuver to boost funding for the scandal-ridden abortion giant,” she said in a press statement.
A GOP aide tells Breitbart News that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has expressed personal support for Black’s legislation, adding that he is working with and coordinating with the House Committees’ investigations of the abortion business. The aide said the committees’ work will be essential to build a strong case that taxpayer funds should not support Planned Parenthood.
McCarthy’s office tells Breitbart News that, thus far, no scheduling items have been finalized for the fall.
On Wednesday, September 9, the House Judiciary Committee will hold the first of several hearings in a series titled Planned Parenthood Exposed: Examining the Horrific Abortion Practices at the Nation’s Largest Abortion Provider.
— House Judiciary Cmte (@HouseJudiciary) September 2, 2015
A press release states the hearings “will examine the abortion practices of Planned Parenthood, which has been the subject of an ongoing House Judiciary Committee investigation into the organization’s practices.”
The release states that, thus far, the Committee’s investigation has “involved letters to the Department of Justice and Planned Parenthood affiliates in order to gather the facts surrounding the horrific allegations brought to light in the Center for Medical Progress’ videos.”
During the hearing on Wednesday, experts will discuss Planned Parenthood’s practices, as seen in the videos, with members of the Committee. In addition, members will hear about the procedures involved in late-term abortions, as well as the altering of the abortion procedure to harvest fetal organs that are viable for sale.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte and Constitution and Civil Justice Subcommittee Chairman Trent Franks said in a statement:
Planned Parenthood and its executives must answer for the alleged atrocities brought to light in the videos by the Center for Medical Progress. For the past two months, the House Judiciary Committee has been investigating the alleged acts of Planned Parenthood and its affiliates, and now the American people will have a chance to understand just how horrific these practices are to the unborn.
The chairmen said:
We are pleased to have the opportunity to question a panel of experts on this issue in order to ascertain how Planned Parenthood may have violated federal laws in the course of its alleged practices, and the atrocities associated with altering abortions in order to obtain the body parts of fetuses.
The House Judiciary Committee invites sign-ups for updates on the Planned Parenthood investigations and other issues on its website.