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Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzHospitals in underserved communities face huge cuts in reckless 'Build Back Better' plan To counter China, the Senate must confirm US ambassadors The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Congress avoids shutdown MORE (R-Texas) says the responsibility for any potential government shutdown would rest with President Obama.
“What Barack Obama is doing for Planned Parenthood is radical, it’s extreme, it’s unreasonable,” Cruz told supporters in St. Louis on Saturday, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
“It’s wrong for Barack Obama to threaten to shut down the government over the issue.”
The GOP presidential candidate has vowed the Senate will not pass a budget that includes funding for Planned Parenthood, which has been the subject of a series of sting videos alleging the clinic traffics fetal body parts from abortions for profit.
“Under no circumstances should we spend $500 million … funding Planned Parenthood, which appears to be a criminal enterprise,” Cruz said.
Other conservatives have echoed the sentiment that blame for a government shutdown would fall on Obama, who would presumably veto any measure to defund the organization.
“Will the president shut down and defund the troops in order to fund Planned Parenthood?” Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) asked.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has expressed doubts about the plan to tie defunding Planned Parenthood to the government funding measure.
He called the plan “an exercise in futility.”
“I’m anxious to defund Planned Parenthood,” McConnell said, adding that “the honest answer of that is that is that’s not going to happen until you have a president who has a similar view.”
Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), whose leadership in the House has been called into question by other Republicans, has treaded carefully on the subject.
Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), a centrist, said Republicans will ultimately be forced to vote for a continuing resolution (CR) to appropriate funding for federal programs.
“Well, at the end of the day, were going to vote on a clean CR,” he said. “The question is will we vote on it before or after September 30? I propose we vote on it before September 30.”