House vote to defund Planned Parenthood unlikely before recess

House vote to defund Planned Parenthood unlikely before recess
© Planned Parenthood

The House appears unlikely to vote on defunding Planned Parenthood before the August recess despite mounting pressure on Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerAre maskless House members scofflaws? Israel, Democrats and the problem of the Middle East Joe Crowley to register as lobbyist for recording artists MORE (R-Ohio).

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulFauci says he puts 'very little weight in the craziness of condemning me' Senate confirms Biden pick for No. 2 role at Interior Rand Paul does not support a national minimum wage increase — and it's important to understand why MORE (R-Ky.) announced at an anti-abortion rally outside the Capitol on Tuesday that the Senate would vote to defund the group before leaving town for a five-week recess. And with the release of a third undercover video now targeting Planned Parenthood, a House bill to defund the group has reached 140 supporters.


Still, a House vote is not expected anytime soon, a GOP leadership aide said Tuesday, arguing “the political reality” is that it doesn’t have enough support.

“In order to enact legislation to defund Planned Parenthood, we need more Republicans and Democrats in both the House and the Senate to support our efforts,” the aide said. “In order to get more support for our case, we have to investigate the organization and deliver the facts about their gruesome practices."

BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerAre maskless House members scofflaws? Israel, Democrats and the problem of the Middle East Joe Crowley to register as lobbyist for recording artists MORE has forcefully condemned the Planned Parenthood videos, in which organization leaders are caught on hidden camera discussing aborted fetal tissue.

Immediately after the first video surfaced, Boehner ordered congressional investigations into the group. The House Energy and Commerce Committee has already begun its probe and has threatened to subpoena one of the Planned Parenthood officials who appears in the videos.

Since then, more than 140 House Republicans have signed onto a bill by Rep. Diane BlackDiane Lynn BlackBottom line Overnight Health Care: Anti-abortion Democrats take heat from party | More states sue Purdue over opioid epidemic | 1 in 4 in poll say high costs led them to skip medical care Lamar Alexander's exit marks end of an era in evolving Tennessee MORE (R-Tenn.) to immediately block funding for Planned Parenthood until investigations have ended.

Black said Tuesday she has met resistance from House leadership while asking them to take up her bill “immediately.”

“We still do not have, from the Speaker's office, a move-forward plan, but I'm continuing to gather sponsors on my bill,” she said in an interview with the "Laura Ingraham Show."  

“Of course the more that we can show the Speaker that there is support within our conference, the more likelihood it will come to the floor,” she said.

Around the same time, several House Republicans joined an anti-abortion rally outside the Capitol that drew GOP presidential candidates including Dr. Ben Carson and Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzWhite House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine Ted Cruz says critical race theory is as racist as 'Klansmen in white sheets' Pentagon pulling 'certain forces and capabilities,' including air defenses, from Middle East MORE (R-Texas) and Paul.

"Of course we're going to vote again on legislation to defund Planned Parenthood. No one supports defunding this group more than the Speaker," Boehner spokeswoman Emily Schillinger said, adding that the House speaker supports the investigations as efforts to drive up support among lawmakers and the general public.

"The more Americans learn about Planned Parenthood's horrific practices, the easier it will be for Congress to defund them," she said.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who had initially said he wanted “all the facts” before legislative action, appearedto change course on Monday, when he voiced support for a moratorium on funding.

House GOP leadership have said “there is no disconnect” between the statements from Boehner and McCarthy and that both support defunding Planned Parenthood.

Any legislation to defund Planned Parenthood would be met with a veto from President Obama, whose administration has dismissed the videos as a smear campaign.

Planned Parenthood receives about $500 million annually from the federal government, a large amount of which is reimbursements from federal programs such as Medicaid for health services.

Under the Hyde Amendment, Planned Parenthood is banned from using federal funding for abortion services.

— Updated at 4:39 p.m.