Top House Conservative Slams Mitch McConnell, Ramps Up Shutdown Fight

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September 15, 2015 3:48 p.m.

A leading conservative lawmaker eager to dethrone House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is ratcheting up the pressure for a shutdown battle over Planned Parenthood that neither Boehner nor Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) want and are trying desperately to avoid.

“I cannot and will not fund a vile, racist organization who specializes in convincing mothers to kill their children and then selling their baby parts to the highest bidder,” Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) said in a written statement to TPM Tuesday. “During the funding debate two years ago, Mitch McConnell finagled a $2.8 billion dam for his home state. And now when it comes to keeping his pro-life campaign promises, I’m pretty certain he still knows how the process works.”

Huelskamp is a signatory to the letter circulated by conservative House lawmakers pledging not to fund Planned Parenthood, even if that means a government shutdown at the end of this month. Huelskamp and other anti-abortion lawmakers are standing by that promise, despite efforts by House and Senate leadership to channel their outrage with Planned Parenthood towards other anti-abortion bills.

Huelskamp is a leader of the conservative wing of the House GOP conference that is deeply disaffected with Boehner. He has bucked GOP leaders on multiple occasions in the past, and was famously photographed in the House chamber in 2013 brandishing an iPad that displayed a plan to launch a coup against Boehner, who was ultimately re-elected as speaker.

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