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 Davis RyanA warning to Ryan’s successor: The Speakership is no cakewalk Republicans divided over legislation protecting Mueller The Hill's 12:30 Report 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 McConnellRepublicans divided over legislation protecting Mueller The Hill's Morning Report: Inside the Comey memos Democrats mull audacious play to block Pompeo MORE (R-Ky.) accusing the party of a politically motivated “witch hunt” against the organization. Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersHannity snaps back at 'Crybaby' Todd: 'Only conservatives have to disclose relationships?' Chuck Todd lashes out at Fox, defends wife in radio interview Trump pressed Sessions to fire FBI agents who sent anti-Trump texts: report 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.”