Eighteen House conservatives told GOP leaders Thursday that they will not support any measure to fund the government if it continues to fund Planned Parenthood.
“We must act to fully defund Planned Parenthood,” they wrote in a letter obtained by The Hill. “Please know that we cannot and will not support any funding resolution — an appropriations bill, an omnibus package, a continuing resolution, or otherwise — that contains any funding for Planned Parenthood, including mandatory funding streams.”
“It is imperative that Congress do everything within its power to investigate these reports and take immediate action to stop them,” the Republicans wrote, adding that they want leadership to hold a conference meeting as soon as possible to discuss the GOP’s plan.
The letter was signed by Reps. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), John FlemingJohn FlemingCoast Guard suspends search for missing Ohio plane Freedom Caucus member to bring up bill on impeaching IRS chief GOP seeks to make it 52 MORE (R-La.), Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho), Matt SalmonMatt SalmonWestern Republicans seek new federal appeals court Arts groups gear up for fight over NEA What gun groups want from Trump MORE (R-Ariz.) Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.), Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), Trey GowdyTrey GowdySunday shows preview: Aftermath of failed healthcare bill Has Putin already won? He divides US intel from political leaders Intelligence chairman sparks storm with Trump briefing MORE (R-S.C.), Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Curt Clawson (R-Fla.), Jim BridenstineJim BridenstineThe Hill's Whip List: 36 GOP no votes on ObamaCare repeal plan A guide to the committees: House Jim Bridenstine for NASA administrator MORE (R-Okla.), Keith Rothfus (R-Pa.), Randy WeberRandy WeberThe Hill's Whip List: 36 GOP no votes on ObamaCare repeal plan A guide to the committees: House House votes to let states deny federal funds to abortion providers MORE (R-Texas), Scott Perry (R-N.J.), Steven Pearce (R-N.M.), Trent FranksTrent FranksLive coverage: House pulls ObamaCare repeal bill GOP lawmakers leave Trump White House with no deal Trump, GOP struggle to find healthcare votes MORE (R-Ariz.) and Louie GohmertLouie GohmertTrump, GOP fumble chance to govern House votes to begin debate on healthcare bill; six Republicans defect Trump delivers ultimatum to GOP on ObamaCare repeal MORE (R-Texas).
With 18 Republicans already ruling out support for a funding bill in September if it contains Planned Parenthood funding, it could create a problem for leaders as they seek to avoid a government shutdown in October.
While Democrats have also expressed concern about some of the videos, many have defended the organization and many likely would oppose a spending bill that defunds Planned Parenthood.
Congress must fund the government by Oct. 1, and GOP leaders are pointing to a continuing resolution (CR) that would extend current funding.
The House will have to wait until after its August recess to address the issue; lawmakers are leaving Washington on Wednesday evening and won’t return to Capitol Hill until early September.
The Senate, meanwhile, is scheduled to be in session for one more week and could vote Monday on a bill to defund Planned Parenthood, Senate Majority Whip John CornynJohn CornynGOP senators pitch alternatives after House pulls ObamaCare repeal bill Rand Paul takes victory lap on GOP health bill Senators push Trump on defense deals with India MORE (R-Texas) said Wednesday.
Some GOP senators like Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) on Wednesday said they probably won’t support the legislation. Collins, for example, said Planned Parenthood is the primary provider of women’s services in her state.
Separate from the main appropriations package, Congress will have to pass before Oct. 1, Rep. Diane BlackDiane BlackObamaCare repeal faces last obstacle before House vote Medicaid block grants give states more freedom Dems wonder: Can GOP even pass a budget? MORE (R-Tenn.) introduced a bill that would immediately block funding for Planned Parenthood until investigations have ended. Nearly 150 House Republicans back the measure.
BoehnerJohn BoehnerTrump, GOP fumble chance to govern ObamaCare gets new lease on life Ryan picks party over country by pushing healthcare bill MORE and McCarthy have both expressed support for the effort to defund the group, but have not scheduled votes on legislation yet. Boehner has directed the House Energy and Commerce Committee to investigate the organization and the leaked videos.