Planned Parenthood got $550 million from taxpayers last year, many of whom are pro-life! What do the Republicans intend to do about it?
The Washington Free Beacon reports:
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) indicated Thursday that congressional Republicans might push to defund Planned Parenthood using the budget reconciliation process.
Ryan was asked at his weekly press briefing whether the effort to repeal and replace Obamacare would include a provision to redirect hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars from Planned Parenthood to women’s health care centers that do not provide abortion.
“Planned Parenthood legislation would be in our reconciliation bill,” Ryan said.
The Democrats introduced the practice of “reconciliation” to get their legislation passed in the Senate by simple majority. And now that they’ve lost the majority in the Senate, reconciliation can be used to get conservative things done:
The reconciliation process allows a simple majority of senators, rather than 60 senators, to pass certain forms of budgetary legislation without the threat of a filibuster. Republicans, who control the Senate 52-48, plan to use reconciliation to repeal major aspects of Obamacare, just as Democrats used reconciliation to amend the law in 2010.
Congressional Republicans passed a bill in 2015 that would have defunded Planned Parenthood in the summer of 2015 after undercover videos were released about the group’s organ harvesting operations. Senate Democrats blocked the bill in August, preventing it from coming to a vote. Reconciliation would help Ryan and Republicans avoid stalling tactics after President-elect Donald Trump takes office on Jan. 20.
Planned Parenthood received more than $550 million from taxpayers in the 2015 fiscal year, a 5 percent increase from 2014. The government payments accounted for 40 percent of its revenue, according to its 2015 annual report. The group received a huge boost in funding when President Obama took office in 2009 and repealed the Mexico City Policy, which bans the use of taxpayer dollars for abortion in foreign aid.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which was overseen by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, gave Planned Parenthood $100 million between 2010 and 2012. The group continued to rake in taxpayer cash throughout 2015 and 2016, winning nearly $28 million in awards from federal agencies.
That’s a lot of taxpayer money that the Democrats sent to their buddies at Planned Parenthood. But then, Planned Parenthood made a lot of donations to Democrat politicians running for office.
Earlier this week, my friend Kevin sent me new about the findings of the House of Representatives investigation of Planned Parenthood’s business practices.
Here is a summary of their findings from the Daily Signal:
Planned Parenthood affiliates profited by transferring parts of aborted babies to outside organizations in violation of the law, a special House panel has concluded after a yearlong investigation.
In a 418-page report released Wednesday, the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives also found that other organizations involved in the transfer of fetal tissue broke federal or state law.
In one case, a national Planned Parenthood executive interviewed by staff investigators for the House panel said “it doesn’t bother me” that one vendor, StemExpress, paid Planned Parenthood $55 for an aborted baby’s intact brain and then sold it to a customer for more than $3,000.
“It’s none of my concern. It doesn’t bother me,” the Planned Parenthood executive said, according to the panel’s report.
Republican members of the House panel recommend that authorities pursue charges against Planned Parenthood affiliates, which receive taxpayer money, and other entities for violating the law and related regulations.
“It is my hope that our recommendations will result in some necessary changes within both the abortion and fetal tissue procurement industries,” the panel’s chairman, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., said in a press release. “Our hope is that these changes will both protect women and their unborn children, as well as the integrity of scientific research.”
It will be interesting to see how far the Republicans are willing to go on this issue. Vice President Mike Pence recently said that the new administration will be in the business of keeping promises. Well, let’s see them do it.