Democrats pressure Ryan to disband Planned Parenthood committee

Democrats pressure Ryan to disband Planned Parenthood committee

Dozens of Democratic lawmakers are urging Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanThe Hill Interview: Budget Chair Black sticks around for now Gun proposal picks up GOP support GOP lawmaker Tim Murphy to retire at end of term MORE (R-Wis.) to disband an investigation into Planned Parenthood after a grand jury recently cleared the group of any wrongdoing.

Two dozen Democratic senators signed a letter to Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGun proposal picks up GOP support Children’s health-care bill faces new obstacles Dems see Trump as potential ally on gun reform MORE (R-Ky.) accusing the party of a politically motivated “witch hunt” against the organization. Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersChris Murphy’s profile rises with gun tragedies Clip shows Larry David and Bernie Sanders reacting after discovering they're related For now, Trump dossier creates more questions than answers MORE (I-Vt.), who is running for president, also signed the letter.

Over the last year, Planned Parenthood has been accused of wrongdoing in its fetal tissue donation program after the release of a series of undercover videos.

A grand jury in Houston, Texas — appointed by the state’s Republican governor — announced earlier this month that it did not find evidence of wrongdoing in the videos.

Instead, the grand jury decided to indict the creators of those videos, who are part of the Center for Medical Progress.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (Ill.), the top Democrat on the House committee investigating Planned Parenthood, called the grand jury’s decision “really amazing,” highlighting the highly unusual move of exonerating the accused and indicting the accuser.

“It’s as if nothing happened,” she said. “So far, we see no willingness to end it.”

The letter was sent to GOP leaders on the same day that the House plans another vote to defund Planned Parenthood. The House will vote Tuesday afternoon to override President Obama's veto of a bill repealing ObamaCare and defunding the reproductive health provider. 

Schakowsky said the committee has not involved Democrats in any planning and has not identified any goals over the next year: “It’s unclear how they plan to proceed.”