Talk of Potential Shutdown Emerges in Wake of Planned Parenthood Videos

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR A growing number of Republicans are calling for the party’s leaders to link fiscal 2016 spending bills, including a continuing resolution, to language denying funds to Planned Parenthood, in response to a series of undercover videos showing the organization’s executives discussing the sale of fetal tissue.A failed procedural vote in the Senate Monday to debate a measure cutting off federal funding for Planned Parenthood is unlikely to slow a rising outcry over the issue from conservatives. The effort began in the House last week with 18 members pledging to oppose any spending bills that continue funding for the organization, reported the Hill. And now Senate Republicans, particularly three of the members running for president, have taken up the mantle.“I believe we should use every and any procedural tool available to defund Planned Parenthood,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told reporters before Monday’s 53-46 vote rejecting the motion to proceed to the defunding measure.When asked about the consequences of shutting down the government over the hundreds of millions of dollars Planned Parenthood receives for health services such as contraception, family planning and cancer screening, Cruz suggested Democrats would bear the blame.“I think that is an excellent question for you to ask every Democrat, if they’re willing to try to shut down the government in order to force continued taxpayer funding for an organization that has now been caught on film apparently repeatedly admitting to multiple felonies in buying and selling body parts in direct contravention of federal criminal law,” Cruz said.White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters last week that any bill to defund Planned Parenthood would draw a presidential veto, setting up the possibility of a partisan showdown over legislation to keep the government open after Sept. 30.Congress’ August recess could add fuel to the controversy as lawmakers hold town hall meetings and become further entrenched in their positions after hearing from constituents. Still, cooler heads could prevail.Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a senior appropriator, urged moderation and said lawmakers should approve a clean short-term continuing resolution in September, reported CQ Roll Call.“I think legislating before you have hearings is sort of putting the cart before the horse,” said Cole. “Just reacting is not likely to be legislatively productive, as much as I share the sentiments.”last_img