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Cummings Issues Statement on House Floor Opposing Republican Select Panel on Planned Parenthood

Oct 7, 2015
Press Release

Cummings Issues Statement on House Floor Opposing Republican Select Panel on Planned Parenthood

 

Washington, D.C. (October 7, 2015)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, spoke on the House floor in opposition to the Republican resolution to establish a new “select panel” to investigate Planned Parenthood, despite the fact that the Chairman of the chief investigative committee that has been investigating Planned Parenthood for months admitted on national television that there is no evidence that they violated any laws.

Yesterday, Oversight Democrats sent a letter to Chairman Chaffetz insisting that he compel David Daleiden, whose organization unsuccessfully tried to entrap Planned Parenthood, to begin producing documents to the Committee, including those subpoenaed on September 15, 2015.  To date, Daleiden has not produced a single page, while Planned Parenthood has produced more than 20,000 pages.

In addition, the Democrats asked Chaffetz to obtain written answers from Daleiden to a list of 21 detailed interrogatories regarding multiple allegations that Daleiden and his group engaged in a series of illegal acts during their covert three-year campaign against Planned Parenthood.

Below are Ranking Member Cummings’ remarks on the House Floor today:

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

 

Statement Opposing Republican Proposal to Create “Select Panel” to Attack Women’s Health

 

October 7, 2015

 

As the Ranking Member on both the Select Committee on Benghazi and the House Oversight Committee, I rise in strong opposition to this proposal by House Republicans to establish yet another new “select panel” to ramp up their baseless and politically-motivated attacks against Planned Parenthood.

Last week, two senior Republicans—both of whom are now competing to become the next Speaker of the House—made stunning admissions on national television within 24 hours of each other.

First, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy admitted that House Republicans established the Benghazi Select Committee to use millions of dollars in taxpayer funds—taxpayer funds—to damage Hillary Clinton’s bid for president. 

The next day, the Chairman of the Oversight Committee, Congressman Chaffetz, admitted on national television that there is no evidence that Planned Parenthood has violated any laws, despite months of investigation.

Let me repeat that:  the Chairman of the chief investigative committee that has been investigating Planned Parenthood for months admitted on national television that there is no evidence that Planned Parenthood violated any laws.

His admission is consistent with the findings of multiple state investigations in Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Missouri, and South Dakota, all of which have cleared Planned Parenthood of wrongdoing. 

I ask my colleagues, if the top investigator in the House of Representatives says there is no evidence against Planned Parenthood, why in the world are we considering a proposal to set up a new select panel?  I think the answer is the same here as it was for Benghazi:  politics.

These stark Republican admissions obviously argue against continuing with these taxpayer-funded political attacks.   Yet, House Republicans are proposing exactly the opposite. 

They have already squandered more than $4.5 million on the Benghazi Select Committee in one of the longest, least productive, and most partisan congressional investigations in history. 

Now they want to use this same terrible model to attack the rights of millions of women across this country who rely on Planned Parenthood for cancer screenings, breast exams, and other critical healthcare services every year.

Planned Parenthood has cooperated with every aspect of the congressional investigations to date.  They have produced tens of thousands of pages of documents, and Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards testified voluntarily for nearly five hours before the Oversight Committee. 

Even Chairman Chaffetz conceded that she has been “very cooperative” with his investigation.

So again, why do we need this new select panel?

Based on Planned Parenthood’s exemplary record of cooperation … the tens of thousands of pages of documents the organization has produced in response to congressional requests …  and the lack of any evidence that the group has violated any laws, there is simply no legitimate basis to adopt this proposal.

I yield back.

 

 

Click here to see video debunking Republican claims against Planned Parenthood.

Click here to see video of Republican’s one-sided Planned Parenthood investigation. 

114th Congress