Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.)
In an act chillingly reminiscent of the House Un-American Activities Committee, Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee chairman Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), has called for a far-reaching investigation into Planned Parenthood and its handling of federal funding.
After Republican lawmakers tried and failed to defund Planned Parenthood during federal budget negotiations in February, the anti-abortion activist group Americans United for Life released a 30-page report that accused the family planning provider of misusing federal funds, failing to report child sex abuse, assisting sex traffickers and a host of other illegal activities, though similar accusations were made against Planned Parenthood and debunked earlier this year. The purpose of AUL's report was to convince Congress to investigate Planned Parenthood and revoke its taxpayer funds.
Facts, however, don't stop the AUL's knight in tarnished armor from riding to their rescue. He too is staunchly pro-life. Stearns has generously given Planned Parenthood and its 83 affiliates two whole weeks to provide a full 12 years of audit reports and other documentation. How magnanimous of him.
Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) wrote a letter to Stearns on Tuesday expressing their opposition to the investigation, which they say is "unwarranted" and "designed to harass and shut down an organization simply because Republicans disagree with the work that it does."
"We are aware of no predicate that would justify this sweeping and invasive request to Planned Parenthood," Waxman and DeGette wrote in the letter. "It would be an abuse of the oversight process if you are now using the Committee's investigative powers to harass Planned Parenthood again. Your fervent ideological opposition to Planned Parenthood does not justify launching this intrusive investigation."I know we're all very weary and even a little leery of petitions, but please go to Planned Parenthood and sign this one. But don't stop there. Make phone calls. Don't bother writing letters, sending emails or faxing.
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