Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Will Republicans Shut Down the Government over Planned Parenthood?

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Will Republicans Shut Down the Government over Planned Parenthood?

Article excerpt

The bill to defund Planned Parenthood was defeated in the Senate Monday, but conservatives' antipathy toward the organization burns as hot as ever - and now they're discussing shutting down the government over it.

Republican opponents of Planned Parenthood are divided on the next step toward defunding the organization, Politico reported, but some are hoping to embed the action into this fall's government funding bill - a bill that, if rejected by Democrats, would shut down the government, like it did in 2013.

Leading the charge is senator and presidential candidate Ted Cruz (R) of Texas, who led the GOP in shutting down the government two years ago over opposition to the Affordable Care Act. The Texas senator told Politico a shutdown was fair game.

"We should use any and every procedural means we have available to end funding for Planned Parenthood," Senator Cruz said. "It should be a very easy decision that taxpayer funds will not go to fund an ongoing criminal enterprise."

Planned Parenthood has come under scrutiny since secretly recorded videos, purporting to show an employee talking about illegal selling aborted fetal tissue, were released by an anti- abortion group. Planned Parenthood says that the employee was discussing the legal donation of fetal tissue for medical purposes.

Cruz has the moral support of fellow candidate Donald Trump, who lacks a vote in Congress but said in an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt that he believed the GOP should have "stuck together" in solidarity with Cruz both in 2013 and now.

Much of the Republican party, however, has been quick to emphasize that a government shutdown is neither likely nor desirable. "I realize some people want to write this is going to be shutdown material ... It's not," Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas told Politico. "But we're serious about it."

If 2013 is any indication, some are saying, a shutdown might not even work. The Affordable Care Act passed despite the government's two-week closure, and Sen. Dan Coats (R) of Indiana said a repeat attempt would be equally ineffective.

"We have a president who we have learned over seven years of time is not going to be persuaded to change his mind over anything he doesn't like," Senator Coats told Politico. …

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