Tension is mounting between House Speaker John Boehner and Rep. Jim Jordan – both of Ohio – over strategy on how to defund Planned Parenthood in the wake of revelations about the abortion giant’s organ harvesting practices.
Though ten videos have been released exposing the abortion provider’s booming business in the sale of baby parts, Boehner and other House leaders chose to push through the House a stand-alone bill to freeze Planned Parenthood’s federal funding for one year, rather than attach a bill to defund the organization to a must-pass spending bill.
Both Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have dismissed any strategy that would allow Democrats and the liberal media to blame Republicans for a government shutdown over the elimination or redirection of Planned Parenthood’s federal funding.
According to Cincinnati.com, Boehner met with pastors from his home district in Ohio who are concerned that Republican leaders in Congress are not putting the responsibility to veto a spending bill that defunds Planned Parenthood on President Obama.
One pastor, Dale Christian of First Baptist Church in Troy, reported that Boehner would not commit to eliminating the abortion business’ taxpayer funding if it meant an ensuing government shutdown. Boehner’s aides, however, denied the speaker was that specific about ruling out particular tactics.
“His message to the pastors from our area, to his colleagues and to the American people has consistently been that he is working to hold abortion providers accountable for their horrific practices and advance the pro-life cause,” said Olivia Hnat, a spokeswoman for Boehner.
However, Jordan, chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, wants Republicans to show moral courage in their convictions about the horrific and gruesome practices of Planned Parenthood as shown in the recent investigative videos.
“Sometime in the next 13 days, everyone’s going to have to face a pretty fundamental question: Are we going to continue to allow taxpayer dollars to go to this organization?” Jordan said in an interview Thursday. “The right thing is they should not be getting another dime.”
The House Freedom Caucus said in a statement last week:
Given the appalling revelations surrounding Planned Parenthood, we cannot in good moral conscience vote to send taxpayer money to this organization while still fulfilling our duty to represent our constituents. We must therefore oppose any spending measure that contains funding for Planned Parenthood.
The caucus’ strategy would force a decision of whether to fund the government without providing taxpayer funds to Planned Parenthood on President Obama, who has already said he would not sign any spending bill that does not include funding for the abortion giant.
The Ohio pastors reportedly also met with Rep. Mark Meadows of the House Freedom Caucus, who had called for a vote for a new speaker.
Other House Republicans – even those who are not members of the Freedom Caucus – have agreed that GOP leaders must not compromise the Party’s pro-life convictions for seeming political expediency.
“I am one who wants to defund Planned Parenthood, and I will go to virtually any lengths to do that,” said Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Westwood, who is not a member of the Freedom Caucus.
Jordan agreed that if Senate Democrats and Obama choose to block any spending bill that eliminates funding for Planned Parenthood, the responsibility for an ensuing government shutdown is theirs.
“No one wants a shutdown,” Jordan said. “If the president says ‘No, we insist, we demand … that money” go to Planned Parenthood, “that is indefensible. Our position is so logical, so common sense. If we’re willing to fully commit to it and to having the debate, then we’ll win.”
On Thursday, House GOP leaders reportedly reviewed polling data with Republican members that suggested they would be blamed for a government shutdown if Obama and Democrats refused to give up funding for Planned Parenthood. The “blaming,” however, would take place through the lens of a liberal media that has covered for Planned Parenthood despite its many ethical and legal violations throughout the years. As has already occurred, whenever Planned Parenthood’s practices are questioned, Democrats and the liberal media reignite the “war on women” narrative that essentially casts the abortion business as “women’s healthcare” – when it actually provides minimal “healthcare” – but is the nation’s largest provider of abortions.
While Jordan supports the premise of the stand-alone bill passed by the House on Friday to redirect funding from Planned Parenthood to healthcare facilities that do not provide abortions, he asserts the strategy places Congress in a weakened position.
Stand-alone bills “don’t involve us using the ultimate power that we have at the legislative branch, and that is the power over spending,” he said, adding that the continued tension between House leadership and conservative Republicans over Planned Parenthood and other high-profile issues has been getting increased attention.
“I think the whole country is watching,” Jordan said.