The White House announced July 31 that any attempt by Republican lawmakers to defund Planned Parenthood in the wake of alleged illegal practices would be swiftly vetoed by President Barack Obama.
The veto could set the stage for a potential government shutdown, as some House Republicans are attaching the defunding to a budget bill set to be voted on in the coming months. The Senate will vote on a standalone bill to defund the health organization on Aug. 3, Talking Points Memo reported.
“What we have indicated in the past continues to be true today, that we have routinely opposed the inclusion of ideologically-driven riders in the budget process,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said at Friday’s briefing. “And certainly a rider that would on a wholesale basis defund Planned Parenthood, which is the proposal of some Republicans in the House, is certainly something that would draw a presidential veto.”
The first of many videos published by the Center for Medical Progress on July 14 showed undercover agents discussing the sale of fetal tissue from aborted babies with employees of the reproductive health clinic. The selling and profiting of any tissue is illegal and Republicans have slammed the organization for its alleged behavior. However, Planned Parenthood continues to deny any wrongdoing and claims the participants who filmed the clips were part of an “extremist” conservative organization.
“We have routinely opposed the inclusion of ideologically driven riders,” in budget legislation, Earnest added.
The White House also seemed to agree with skeptics of the authenticity of the videos, as well.
“I haven’t seen the videos, but those who have taken a close look at them have raised some significant concerns about their authenticity and whether or not they actually convey the view of those particular officials or even the broader institution,” he said.
While all Democrats in the House and Senate have objected to this plan, only 18 Republicans have signed on for support. One of those Republicans is presidential candidate Ted Cruz, who will be able to voice his opinion on the issue during the GOP’s first debate on Aug. 6.