There’s plenty of uncertainty about who will be leading the House — but not quite as much on where they’ll lead. One of the biggest priorities of the new Speaker has already been decided, thanks in part to yesterday’s vote to turn up the heat on Planned Parenthood. Now five investigations into the ghoulish organ harvesting business, members say the only thing they’re left with is more questions.
To put the full weight of the House behind the issue, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) introduced a resolution to create a special investigative panel to get to the bottom of the group’s wrongdoing. By a vote of 242-184 — including the support of two Democrats (Reps. Dan Lipinski, Ill. and Collin Peterson, Minn.) — members gave the committee the green light to launch. For Planned Parenthood leaders, who probably thought they’d weathered the worst of the storm, this guarantees that the issue will continue to roil well into 2016. Over the Left’s protests, Foxx explained, “It should be simple to unite behind the principle that organizations receiving hundreds of millions in taxpayer funds are subject to congressional oversight, particularly when their practices may violate federal law and are, frankly, barbaric.”
Already, Cecile Richards’s group has been forced to turn over 20,000 documents to GOP, which, they complain, has spent six consecutive weeks on their baby parts-for-profits scheme. That focus continued this afternoon, as the House Judiciary Committee kicked off its own hearing about Planned Parenthood. While the House committees will continue their work, this special investigation will help bring all of the work under one umbrella. With seats for six Democrats and seven Republicans, the panel will have full subpoena power and the benefit of full-time staff. “The thought,” Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) explained, “is that this will be a more expedient way to handle this, a more efficient way, and allow us to determine if there was any law broken and if there is any need for further investigation.”
For the sake of every taxpayer, she said, “We need to have a national conversation about these practices. This is a discussion we cannot shy away from.” She’s right. This goes to the very heart of who we are as a nation. “This is not simply an investigation of Planned Parenthood. This will be a broad-based, information-gathering, fact-finding mission to answer questions about how we treat and protect life in this country.” While we applaud House leadership for pulling the curtain back on what a half-billion dollars is really buying taxpayers, we have clearly communicated that this is no substitute for defunding the abortion giant.
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Extremists like Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) can complain all they want about the GOP wasting “taxpayer money to make political points.” But it’s better than using taxpayer dollars to fund a potentially criminal operation!
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