September 8, 2015
Twenty-eight House Republicans now say they will oppose any legislation to fund the government that also continues to fund Planned Parenthood, according to an updated tally released on Tuesday by conservative group Heritage Action for America.
That’s the maximum number of Republicans that GOP leaders can lose in a vote without help from Democrats.
Ten more people have signed onto the letter, spearheaded by Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), since it was initially sent to leadership in July.
An aide to Mulvaney said Tuesday that the letter will close later this week to give lawmakers an opportunity to sign it after returning to Capitol Hill from the August recess.
“We must act to fully defund Planned Parenthood. Please know that we cannot and will not support any funding resolution – an appropriations bill, an omnibus package, a continuing resolution, or otherwise – that contains any funding for Planned Parenthood, including mandatory funding streams,” the letter says.
The latest lawmakers to sign the letter include Republican Reps. Ted Yoho (Fla.), Jody Hice (Ga.), David Rouzer (N.C.), Dave Brat (Va.), Mark Meadows (N.C.), Scott DesJarlais (Tenn.), Mark Walker (N.C.), Brian Babin (Texas), David Schweikert (Ariz.) and Trent Kelly (Miss.), according to Heritage Action’s tally.
The letter was originally signed by GOP Reps. Mick Mulvaney (S.C.), Jim Jordan (Ohio), John Fleming (La.), Raúl Labrador (Idaho), Matt Salmon (Ariz.), Tim Huelskamp (Kan.), Jeff Duncan (S.C.), Thomas Massie (Ky.), Trey Gowdy (S.C.), Walter Jones (N.C.), Curt Clawson (Fla.), Jim Bridenstine (Okla.), Keith Rothfus (Pa.), Randy Weber (Texas), Scott Perry (Pa.), Steve Pearce (N.M.), Trent Franks (Ariz.) and Louie Gohmert (Texas).
While the number of signatures has grown over the August recess, it’s a very small number compared to the 80 House Republicans that signed onto a letter in 2013 pushing GOP leaders to defund ObamaCare. That led to a 16-day government shutdown that October.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has so far called for congressional investigations into Planned Parenthood and has not said how he would address funding for the organization. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) suggested in an interview last week that it would have to wait for a new president.
Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) has a stand-alone bill that would defund the organization and her spokesman said she has secured a “commitment” from House GOP leadership for her measure to come to a floor vote in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is circulating a letter similar to Mulvaney’s in the Senate. An aide to Cruz said Tuesday that the letter will be finalized in the next few weeks.
Congress must pass legislation to keep the government funded through Oct. 1.