As controversy surrounding the undercover videos of Planned Parenthood continues to swirl, congressional Republicans are vowing to defund the group even if it forces a government shutdown, Politico
On Wednesday, 18 House Republicans told the leadership that they "cannot and will not support any funding resolution … that contains any funding for Planned Parenthood."
And social conservatives like Sens. James Lankford of Oklahoma and Jeff Sessions of Alabama have said they would potentially introduce a rider to the spending bill that would eliminate the group's $528 million in public funding.
"This is one of those line-in-the-sand type of issues," South Carolina GOP Rep. Mick Mulvaney told Politico. "Every time we say we don't want to spend money on something, the answer is it will provoke a shutdown."
In the Senate, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is leading the charge, saying next week's Senate roll call to defund the group is a "legislative show vote" and he plans to do everything possible to force the issue, not barring a government shutdown.
"I would support any and all legislative efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. We do not need a legislative show-vote."
Over the weekend, Senate conservatives attempted to attach defunding measures to the transportation bill. But they have now shifted their strategy to focus on the upcoming government spending bill, according to Politico.
Sessions said Republicans "don't need to take no for an answer" after Democrats reject the provisions to defund it next week.
"Congress doesn't have to fund any program it doesn't think is justified. How does it get to be that a minority of the Democrats can dictate that a majority party has to fund programs it doesn't believe in?" Sessions said, according to Politico. "We don't need to go at it halfheartedly."
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is also leading the charge to defund the pro-choice organization.
He said on Fox News' "Hannity" on Wednesday that he thinks there are 58 senators who will vote for defunding, according to Breitbart
"I'm horrified by these videos and everybody is. When I think of ultrasound, I think of the pictures of my kids before they were born and the happiness we had," Paul said. "To imagine that doctors are using ultrasound to manipulate the body around, turn the body around to take body parts from a baby, it just — it sickens me."
He said he believes that there's at least three or four Democrats that could cross over and vote with the Republicans.
"We're going to work very hard. I think there are some pro-choice Democrats, there are many pro-choice Americans who are horrified by this. Because they don't think of abortion as turning the baby around and harvesting baby hearts, and showing kidneys and livers and lungs and hearts that are then being resold. The gruesomeness of this cannot be overstated," Paul said. "And I think we may well get some Democrats who are going to say, 'Enough's enough, we can't keep funding a group that does this.'"
Meanwhile, the group that released the three undercover videos of Planned Parenthood staff discussing the harvesting or sale of fetal tissue has said there are nine more videos set for release, the Daily Caller
"We have close to 300 hours total of undercover video that was gathered during a 20-month-long, in-depth investigative journalism study of how Planned Parenthood sells the body parts of the babies they abort," David Daleiden, founder of the Center for Medical Progress, told Sean Hannity on his radio show on Tuesday.
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