18 Republicans pledge to oppose any bill funding Planned Parenthood

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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.”

{mosads}The letter was addressed to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), who all have expressed concern about several leaked videos that show Planned Parenthood officials caught on hidden cameras discussing aborted fetal tissue.

“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 Fleming (R-La.), Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho), Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.), Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Curt Clawson (R-Fla.), Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.), Keith Rothfus (R-Pa.), Randy Weber (R-Texas), Scott Perry (R-N.J.), Steven Pearce (R-N.M.), Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) and Louie Gohmert (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 Cornyn (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 Black (R-Tenn.) introduced a bill that would immediately block funding for Planned Parenthood until investigations have ended. Nearly 150 House Republicans back the measure.

Boehner 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.

Tags Boehner Diane Black Jim Bridenstine John Boehner John Cornyn John Fleming Louie Gohmert Matt Salmon Randy Weber Trent Franks Trey Gowdy

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