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House conservative group to oppose any spending bill funding Planned Parenthood

House conservative group to oppose any spending bill funding Planned Parenthood

The House Freedom Caucus on Thursday said its members will oppose any spending measure that continues funding for Planned Parenthood.

The decision by the group, which has more than 40 members, complicates any effort by GOP leaders to move a spending bill through Congress by Oct. 1, the deadline to prevent a shutdown. 

A GOP aide said the group's position would apply in the case of any short-term or long-term continuing resolution (CR) or omnibus spending bill.

"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 group said in an official statement.

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Many Freedom Caucus members have already signed on to Rep. Mick Mulvaney’s (R-S.C.) letter, which relays the same message about Planned Parenthood funding to GOP leadership. As of Thursday, at least 32 people had signed it.

GOP leaders can only lose a maximum of 28 Republican votes on a spending bill if all Democrats vote against it. Democrats would be expected to oppose a spending bill that blocked funding for Planned Parenthood. The White House has made clear President Obama would veto legislation that cuts off funding to the group.

As pressure grows on leadership, House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerSome doubt McCarthy or Scalise will ever lead House GOP Lobbying World McCarthy courts conservatives in Speaker's bid MORE (R-Ohio) reiterated at a press conference Thursday morning that all options remain on the table, but he also said Republicans are not intentionally trying to force a government shutdown.

“The goal here is not to shut down the government, the goal is to stop the horrific practice of an organization selling baby parts,” he told reporters.

Planned Parenthood has been targeted by Republicans since a series of undercover videos were released by an anti-abortion rights group. The videos allege that officials sold fetal tissue for a profit, something Planned Parenthood says is not true. Planned Parenthood has noted that even the videos do not show officials talking about selling tissue for a profit. 

After today, Congress has only 10 legislative days left before the Oct. 1 deadline to keep the government funded and avoid a shutdown.