McClintock Quits Conservative Group over Effort to Defund Planned Parenthood

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On Wednesday, Congressman Tom McClintock (R-CA) announced his resignation from the conservative House Freedom Caucus (HFC) over threats of a government shutdown to defund Planned Parenthood, as well as over past collaboration with Democrats to defeat Republican proposals,

In a hand-delivered letter to Jim Jordan, the Chairman of the HFC, McClintock began by stating he had “fervently hoped” that the Caucus “would provide responsible and effective leadership to advance conservative principles in the House of Representatives.”

But McClintock continued: “I believe the tactics the HFC has employed have repeatedly undermined the House’s ability to advance them.”

McClintock noted several instances in which the HFC had united with Democrats in the House to defeat conservative efforts on various issues.

“A common theme through each of these incidents is a willingness–indeed, an eagerness–to strip the House Republican majority of its ability to set the House agenda by combining with House Democrats on procedural motions. As a result, it has thwarted vital conservative policy objectives and unwittingly become Nancy Pelosi’s tactical ally,” he wrote.

On HFC’s recent tactical decision to shut down the government to defund Planned Parenthood, McClintock wrote: “I have strongly opposed the public funding of abortions throughout my 29 years in public office, but this tactic promises only to shield Senate Democrats from their responsibility for a government shutdown and to alienate the public from the pro-life cause at precisely the time when undercover videos of Planned Parenthood’s barbaric practices are turning public opinion in our favor.”

McClintock concluded:

I feel honored to know and work with every member of the House Freedom Caucus.  I have never served with a group of patriots more devoted to our country and dedicated to restoring American founding principles.  However, I feel that the HFC’s many missteps have made it counterproductive to its stated goals and I no longer wish to be associated with it.

Accordingly, I resign.