Democrats may boycott House panel investigating Planned Parenthood
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- A leading House Democrat told Huffington Post that his party may boycott the House's special panel to investigate Planned Parenthood.
Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra, D-CA, said that while his party would likely send five Members to be on the committee, the committee itself "is...a farce."
“You hate to disengage when that’s your job. You hate to not be on the field," Becerra said. "You don’t want to ever disarm unilaterally. … Benghazi makes it clear what you are looking at. For those who wish to be responsible with our government, who believe our government is supposed to be doing oversight under the Constitution and really try to fulfill our role, it is tough to say that we are just going to distance ourselves because we know it is a political show.”
The eight GOP Members of the House Energy & Commerce Committee's Select Panel on Planned Parenthood were announced last week. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, is in charge of appointing the panel's five Democrats.
The committee will take over all investigative responsibilities from the larger committee, which is one of three in the House and four in all of Congress investigating Planned Parenthood's practices.
Both parties have accused the other of putting politics over public service. Democrats claim Planned Parenthood is innocent of all accusations of illegal abortions and illegal fetal harvesting, while Republicans have accused Democrats of putting political loyalty over the rule of law and good governance.
Since July, more than a dozen videos have shown senior Planned Parenthood officials discussing how to harvest the body parts of aborted babies -- possibly illegally. Earlier this month, the abortion giant bowed to pressure from Congress and pro-life activists, and stopped taking money -- which it claims merely covered the costs of the process -- in exchange for organs and other body parts of children killed in its clinics.
The offices of Pelosi and Becerra did not respond to multiple requests for comment related to Planned Parenthood's state-level lawbreaking, including a cover-up of a 14-year old's two abortions in Mobile, Alabama last year.
The office of House Speaker John Boehner, R-OH, and the office of the Select Panel's Chairwoman -- Tennessee Republican Marsha Blackburn -- did not respond to questions about the GOP's intended tactics to refute claims the party is engaged in a witch hunt.