Real estate developer and author Donald Trump. (AP)
Multi-billionaire real estate developer and best selling author Donald Trump said he would support congressional action to defund Planned Parenthood even if it involved shutting down the federal government, and added that he supported doing the same to cut off funding for the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare.
In a Monday night interview on the Hugh Hewitt radio show, the host asked if Trump had watched the undercover videos of Planned Parenthood’s harvesting of aborted baby parts and whether he supported shutting down the government to defund the abortion group.
“I have,” seen the videos, said Trump. “I think it was disgraceful. I have watched them yes.”
At that time, Monday evening, Aug. 3, Senate Republicans, joined by two Democrats, failed to pass a procedural vote – they needed 60 votes and ended with 53-46 – that would have allowed a defunding bill to move forward for floor debate and a potential vote.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Trump. “I guess they’re doing it now as we speak – again, I’m in my office in New York – and I guess as we speak [on Monday], they’re going for a vote of some kind. And you would think that that would be a vote they – is the word that they won’t get that vote?”
Hewitt then said, “The word is that the Democrats will filibuster and the president will veto, and the only way to get rid of Planned Parenthood money, for selling off baby parts, is to shut the government down in September. Would you support that?”
Trump said, “Well, I can tell you this, I would.”
He then explained that he had supported similar action to defund Obamacare.
“And I was also in support – if the Republicans stuck together, you could have done it with Obamacare also,” said Trump. “But the Republicans decided not to stick together and they left a few people out there, like Ted Cruz. They left a lot of the people that really went in and wanted to do the job.”
“And you know what?” said Trump. “If they’d stuck together, they’d have won that battle. I think you have to in this case also, yes.”
Because there were not enough votes to move the Planned Parenthood defunding bill forward in the Senate, some lawmakers have called for tying the defunding to the spending legislation needed to fund the government past Sept. 30, whether through an appropriations bill or a continuing resolution.
While such a legislative arrangement potentially could pass in the GOP-dominant House and Senate, the White House has stated it would veto legislation that defunds Planned Parenthood. That scenario could lead to a government shutdown.
The last shutdown, Oct. 1-16, 2013, occurred when the House of Representatives passed a continuing resolution to fund the government but which did not fund Obamacare, and President Obama threatened a veto.
For the federal government to keep operating, Congress must pass a funding bill by Oct. 1.