Well, kind of anyway. Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards appeared before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to discuss the budget of Planned Parenthood since more than a third of it comes from Taxpayers in light of the recent videos.
Besides a few people of whom I can think, like Rep. Mia Love (R-UT), and the ever-stellar Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), whose questions of Cecile Richards in the video below, the opportunity to question Ms. Richards on the abhorrent videos and why the hell we should fund this organization was a bit missed.
Here is Rep. Gowdy questioning Cecile Richards:
Yep – that would be quintessential Gowdy. But as David Harsanyi of The Federalist highlighted, there were some missed opportunities with this hearing. From The Federalist:
Most of the committee’s Republicans followed Jason Chaffetz’s lead in aimless grandstanding—which, as always, seems to be the purpose of these show trials, anyway. Self-preservation. Others spent their time chastising Richards over finances, demanding she answer questions about “market penetration” and “unit prices.”
Ms. Richards, will you send over those figures? Sure. I’ll do my best!
If you’re arguing about decimal points, Planned Parenthood is winning. Democrats aren’t concerned about spreadsheets or fungibility, because they’re too busy accusing Republicans of hatching a plot to eliminate pap smears and mammograms for every poor woman in the country.
If you can’t induce the CEO of Planned Parenthood to feel even slightly uncomfortable about defending videos that find her employees talking about humans as if they were commodities, you have the wrong people asking the questions. And since it’s clear that there was zero coordination and minimal preparation (repurposing some graphs from pro-life groups is hardly work) voters have no reason to believe you their concerns matter very much. The first step to not sucking this bad is acting like you do care, even if we all know you’re just engaged in theater. (Click here to read the rest.)
And that is the problem. That is what I was anticipating from this Committee. Not that we didn’t gain some information about Planned Parenthood from this Hearing, like that 86% of their income is from performing abortions. That is HUGE news, by the way, and a fact I am sure the MSM will work overtime to cover up. But it is out there now.
That said, in terms of highlighting their barbaric practices, a natural jumping off point after that information, I think they fell short. (I believe it was Kimberly Guilfoyle on The Five who said they should have just read passages from the videos, and asked Richards to respond to them. No kidding.)
As noted, we did learn some things about Planned Parenthood and how they spend our/their money. From Kelsey Harkness at The Daily Signal:
[…] Travel and Party Expenses
Republicans also raised issue with the amount Planned Parenthood spends on travel, galas, and real estate. According to their report, the organization spent more than $5 million on travel on 2013, some of which was spent on first class or charter travel.
“For the record, I do not travel first class,” Richards said.
Republicans also pointed to “blowout parties” where reports say affiliates hosted a “Chocolate Champagne” fundraiser, for example. They also claim Planned Parenthood spent $43.8 million to purchase corporate office space two blocks from Madison Square Garden in New York City.
“The taxpayers are funding over 40 percent of Planned Parenthood—they just have a right to know how this money is being spent,” Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., told Richards (emphasis The Daily Signal’s).
Richards responded to this sentiment by downplaying the government’s role in funding Planned Parenthood, stating, “We don’t get a big check from the government.”
“We, like other Medicaid providers,” she added, “ are reimbursed for services.”
According to reports, the majority of federal funds Planned Parenthood receives come from reimbursements from specific health services provided through Medicaid. These reimbursements make up 41 percent of Planned Parenthood’s entire funding.
‘Co-mingling’ of Health Care and Advocacy Work
In addition to Planned Parenthood Federation of America, which provides services to women through its nearly 700 health clinics and affiliates, the organization has a lobbying arm called Planned Parenthood Action Fund, which advocates specific legislation and politicians who support those policies.
According to the Chairman’s memorandum, “Planned Parenthood has given the Planned Parenthood Action Fund $21,576,629 in grants,” and tax returns “indicate that both Planned Parenthood and its affiliates share employees, facilities, equipment, mailing lists and other assets” with the lobbying arm. […] (Click here to read the rest of the “19 Key Numbers Republicans Used To Question Cecile Richards.”)
In addition to the numbers, there was one stunning acknowledgement by Cecile Richards that really blows out of the water the claim by the Left that Planned Parenthood is an important center for Women’s Health. That revelation came courtesy of questioning by Rep. Mia Love (R-UT). From Legal Insurrection:
Oh, but Cecile Richards and Planned Parenthood HAVE claimed that very thing:
Wait – was Richards under oath when she made that claim? If so, Chairman Chaffetz might want to check out this Legal Insurrection article which sums it up perfectly:
[…] 86% of Planned Parenthood’s revenue comes from abortions, another tidbit unearthed in Tuesday’s hearings. Not helping their give us ALL the tax money case was the revelation that Planned Parenthood raised $127 million over their expenditures last year. When asked how the $127 million was spent, Richards stammered, began listing expenses until she was corrected, and struggled as she attempted to explain how the organization spent their multi-million-dollar overage.
Outside of abortions, Planned Parenthood’s primary function is filtering money to and from Democratic organizations, giving in excess of $574,000 to candidates seeking federal office alone.
Planned Parenthood does not provide unique or special healthcare services like mammograms, they profit from killing babies and harvesting their brains, tell me again — why are we paying for this? (Click here to read the rest.)
Some missed opportunities to be sure in the Hearing with Cecile Richards, but there were some newsflashes, too. I hope the Republicans focus on those to silence the Left who are busy claiming that Republicans just want abortion outlawed. As Rep. Gowdy indicated, it is more about the horror evoked by watching abortion doctors talk about selling baby parts over a Chardonnay and salad. The question is: why are THEY not horrified by this?
That’s what I think. How about you? This is an Open Thread.