Rep. Black Urges Adoption of Reconciliation Bill to Defund Planned Parenthood; Chides Members for Refusing to Watch Undercover Videos
To watch Congressman Black’s remarks at the reconciliation markup, click HERE or the image above.
Washington, DC– Today Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06), a registered nurse and member of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, spoke at the House Budget Committee’s Fiscal Year 2016 reconciliation markup in support of provisions in the bill to freeze federal funding for Planned Parenthood. The language of the reconciliation bill closely mirrors Rep. Black’s House-passed Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015. The measure also repeals the most onerous provisions of Obamacare, including the law’s individual and employer mandates, the medical device tax, and the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).
The reconciliation tool can be used to allow budgetary-related legislation to reach the President’s desk with the support of a simple majority in both chambers of Congress, rather than the typical 60 vote threshold needed to invoke cloture in the Senate. The President’s signature would still be required for the measure to become law. This strategy was endorsed by more than 35 national and state pro-life leaders, who explained that “Using this process will ensure that pro-abortion extremists in the Senate will be unable to further filibuster Congressional action on this urgent issue.”
Following Congressman Black’s remarks, the Budget Committee adopted the reconciliation measure by a vote of 21 to 11. For video of Congressman Black’s comments, click here. A transcript is provided below.
Thank you Mr. Chairman. I’m pleased to speak briefly today on a provision in this reconciliation package that is very dear to my heart – and that is the language placing a one-year moratorium on payments to prohibited entities such as Planned Parenthood.
Now, I know that some of my colleagues across the aisle have so far refused to watch the undercover videos implicating Planned Parenthood in the trafficking of fetal tissue. And perhaps they haven’t seen this independent forensic report confirming their authenticity. But I have and I believe that, by not offering a response, we in Congress would be shirking our duties to the people we represent.
That is why this reconciliation package places a one-year moratorium on funding to select abortion providers like Planned Parenthood; instead redirecting those dollars to the more than 13,500 community health centers across this country.
I’m a registered nurse and I wouldn’t support legislation that blocks access to preventive care, so my colleagues should know that this measure actually increases funding for community health centers by $235 million.
As Members of this committee know, I am unapologetically pro-life, but all of us should want to do everything in their power to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent with integrity, and are not doled out to entities that skirt the laws. That is not a political statement – that is quite literally our job here in Congress and on this committee in particular.
We have real and legitimate questions about potential illegal activities at Planned Parenthood. Until those questions are answered, it is fully appropriate to call a time-out on taxpayer funding and send that money to federally-qualified providers that offer a better standard of care to women who need it most. That is exactly what these provisions in the reconciliation package will accomplish.
I urge the committee to prioritize true women’s health over the interests of a scandal-ridden, politically-aligned abortion giant, and to support the reconciliation bill with this language included.
Congressman Diane Black represents Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District. She has been a registered nurse for more than 40 years and serves on the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees