McCarthy on Not Giving Zika Funds to Planned Parenthood in CR: ‘We’ll Wait and See What The Language Is’

Penny Starr | September 20, 2016 | 5:26pm EDT
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House Majority Leader Kevin

McCarthy (R-Calif.)  (AP) 

( – House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) would not say whether Republicans would continue to include a provision in a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government that would ban Planned Parenthood clinics from receiving money appropriated to fight the Zika virus.

At the Capitol on Tuesday, asked McCarthy, "On the CR, are the Republicans going to continue to insist that if Zika funding is connected to the CR, that public health clinics -- and not Planned Parenthood -- are funded?"

McCarthy said, “Well, we did exactly what the president asked for. Have you read the bill we passed in June with $1.1 billion? Did you ever read the word Planned Parenthood?” replied that the legislation designated "public health centers," which would eliminate funding for providers such as Planned Parenthood.

McCarthy then said, “I think a lot of that is being worked out as we move the CR over on the Senate side. So we’ll wait and see what the language is.”

“I think it will all get taken care of though,” McCarthy said.

The Senate is working on the CR, which will then move to the House for consideration.

Since President Barack Obama requested $1.9 billion in emergency funding to fight the Zika virus in February, Congress has made several efforts to provide funding. A bill passed by the Senate in May was revised in the House to restrict the proposed $1.1 billion in funding to public health providers, eliminating funding for other providers, including Planned Parenthood clinics in Puerto Rico.

On Sunday, McClatchy reported that some states are trying to defund Planned Parenthood using similar language in legislation.

“At least 16 states, some using language similar to the clauses in the House’s Zika conference report, have tried to divert federal funds earmarked under Title X for family-planning services for low-income and uninsured people or to block Medicaid money from going to Planned Parenthood,” McClatchy reported, adding that Planned Parenthood is now suing those states.

“Defenders of the restrictions argue that putting limits on the funding simply seeks to more efficiently allocate the money,” the article states.

“Some [states] have wisely chosen to prioritize the funds to more comprehensive health-care providers than Planned Parenthood, thereby avoiding state entanglement with abortion,” Casey Mattox, a lawyer with the Alliance Defending Freedom, an Arizona-based anti-abortion group, wrote last week on the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal website.

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