The PJ Tatler

House Oversight Hearing: House Republicans Target Planned Parenthood Funding (Video)

As Bridget Johnson reported earlier, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards spent the better part of Tuesday morning at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing trying to defend her organization’s right to federal funding in the wake of a damning video investigation.

The shocking Center for Medical Progress videos show Planned Parenthood employees haggling over the price of fetal body parts and harvesting aborted babies’ organs.

In Planned Parenthood’s defense, House Democrats repeated timeworn talking points —  the videos are “deceptively” edited and part of a right-wing “war against women.”

Released yesterday, a forensic analysis of the videos found “no evidence of manipulation.”

Republicans pointed out that Planned Parenthood is “pretty good” at fundraising and does not really need federal dollars.

Richards meanwhile insisted that “no federal funds pay for abortion funds at Planned Parenthood.”

According to the oversight committee, Planned Parenthood reported approximately $1.3 billion in total revenue for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014. $528.4 million, or 41 percent, of that is attributed to “government health services grants and reimbursements.”

Oversight committee chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) asked her why the abortion provider would reduce the number of cancer screenings 54 percent from 2013-15, while still making $127 million in net profits in 2014.

Chaffetz criticized the “massive” salaries of Planned Parenthood employees (most notably Richards who makes $520,000 a year), and their travel expenses, which amounted to $5 million in 2013, including first-class tickets and private jets. He noted Planned Parenthood spent $600,000 on parties from 2012 to 2013.

Planned Parenthood also spent $67 million on fundraising and $22 million on lobbying, which he said “has absolutely nothing to do with providing a breast exam for young women.”

“Government dollars from taxpayers going to Planned Parenthood is roughly $528 million. $450 million of that comes from federal funds. Roughly $390 million comes in the form of Medicaid,” Chaffetz explained.

“The funding amount that we’re talking about under title 10 is $60 million.” He added that that’s “roughly 4.6% of their revenue.”

In his opening statement, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) asked Richards why she apologized for the videos two days after they surfaced if they were deceptively edited.

“Everyone knows these videos are, as the speaker of the House said, barbaric and repulsive,” Jordan added.

The congressman also argued that Republicans do not want to shut down the federal government over defunding Planned Parenthood.

“We simply want to shift the money from an organization caught doing what they were caught doing … and give it to the 13,000 federally approved community health centers.”

The real problem is money and politics, according to Jordan.

“Here’s how it works. Politicians give money to Planned Parenthood, who gives it back to politicians at election time,” the congressman said.

“Planned Parenthood spent almost $12 million in advertising in the 2012 election cycle. One hundred percent of that went to Democrats. Every penny, every single penny went to Democrats. No wonder they are defending this repulsive game,” he concluded.