Our national debt exceeds $14 trillion and after running a federal deficit of $1.3 trillion last year, we will see a $1.5 trillion deficit this year. I get one clear message in talking with the American people – promote job growth and control government spending.
The federal government funds thousands of programs and projects, and Congress must look at all federal expenditures and reduce or eliminate those that do not meet the needs of the American people.
Taxpayers deserve accountability, and recent undercover videos taken at Planned Parenthood centers demonstrate the egregious abuse of taxpayer funds. These videos show that Planned Parenthood is willing to use public funds to commit a federal crime.
Thanks to Live Action, a group of young people dedicated to strengthening the culture of life, we learn from undercover videos that Planned Parenthood is all too willing to ignore the law in promoting its services, among them abortion.
Working with Live Action, a man and woman posed as sex traffickers at a Planned Parenthood center and asked about abortions and other services for their child sex workers. Instead being reported for what appeared to be a horrendous sexual exploitation of children, the pair received information on how to arrange abortions for their child sex workers.
This just adds to Planned Parenthood’s record of violating state sexual assault and child abuse reporting laws, and of encouraging young girls to lie about their ages to circumvent state reporting laws.
Although Planned Parenthood eventually ordered new training for its employees, I have a better solution – defund it. Why should taxpayer funds go toward an entity with a history of skirting or violating reporting laws and that promotes abortion, even for children under 14 years of age?
Although Planned Parenthood is barred from using taxpayer funds to perform abortions, these dollars are fungible, federal funding allows the group to use other funds for abortions.
In 1997, the group received $160 million from taxpayers and performed 160,000 abortions. Last year, it received some $360 million and performed over 324,000 abortions. As taxpayer funding increased, so did the number of these life-ending procedures.
While working to defund this organization, as Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, I also plan to hold a hearing with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, testifying on why taxpayers should support Planned Parenthood.
I also want her to address what steps she has ordered to get this group to obey state and federal laws, which should be demanded of any beneficiary of federal funding.
Defunding Planned Parenthood should be a fiscal and moral priority for Congress, and for the American people.
Stearns is Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee.