Dem sees discrimination in GOP questions of Planned Parenthood salary

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) lashed out at House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) after he questioned the salary of Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards.

In a charged hearing filled with intense exchanges, Maloney accused Chaffetz of being out of line for questioning Richards’s rising salary.

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“I find it totally inappropriate and discriminatory,” said Maloney, the top Democrat on the panel. “I’ve never seen a witness beaten up and questioned about their salary.”

Chaffetz questioned Planned Parenthood’s expenses on travel, its real estate holdings and Richards’s salary in suggesting it is not really putting its money behind women’s healthcare. He noted that Richards’s salary has gone up by more than $100,000 between 2009 and 2013.

Of Richards’s salary, Chaffetz said: “That’s money that’s not going to women’s healthcare.”

A number of Democrats criticized Chaffetz and other Republicans on the panel for their treatment of Richards, and they singled out the comments about her salary.

“Who do you think you are, making a professional salary,” Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) said in mocking sarcasm to Richards at one point in the hearing.

 The committee's top Democrats seized on the line of questioning, noting that Republicans would not have asked the same questions of a CEO of a for-profit company.

"Ms. Richards, I find it extremely hypocritical that Republicans criticize the salaries of Planned Parenthood officials when you have violated no laws—especially while these same Republicans completely ignore the CEOs of huge companies that are actually guilty of breaking the law," Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said.

"Earlier this year, Citicorp, JPMorgan, and other major banks pled guilty to manipulating currency markets and interest rates," he continued. "They were fined more than $5 billion for their actions. Yet Citigroup’s CEO still received $13 million last year, and JPMorgan’s CEO received $20 million. These banks get extensive federal support in the form of borrowing through the Federal Reserve’s discount window and access to deposit insurance through the FDIC."