While GOP leadership’s plan to let lawmakers blow steam at Planned Parenthood has shown no sign of defusing a possible government shutdown, Rep. Charlie Dent, a moderate Republican from Pennsylvania, is offering his own escape route.
The New York Times reports that Dent will push a compromise bill that would target the federal funding of only a handful of Planned Parenthood affiliates accused of selling aborted fetal tissue, rather than block the $500 million or so in federal funding to the entire reproductive health organization.
Conservatives have been threatening a government shutdown over Planned Parenthood’s federal funding due to a series of “sting” videos purporting to show that the organization was illegally profiting from its tissue donation program, claims Planned Parenthood vehemently denies.
According to the Times, some Republicans have warmed up to Dent’s idea, but the bill has yet to gain the support of Democrats. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced a similar proposal in the Senate, where it went nowhere. About seven clinics in three states would see their federal funding dry up for their participation in the fetal tissue donation program, the Times said of the Senate version.
The deadline to pass a federal spending bill to avoid a government shutdown is Sept. 30. Democrats and the White House say they will block any spending bill that defunds Planned Parenthood.