Don't expect President Barack Obama to agree to sign anything defunding Planned Parenthood.
Republicans have been trying and failing to defund the group for years — with the issue a major sticking point in the first shutdown showdown in 2011 between then-newly minted Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, and Democrats. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest rejected the idea again Wednesday when he was asked about the effort by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., to attach defunding to the highway package.
"Well obviously, we do not at all support a measure like that," he said. "And you've heard me take a pretty dim view in the past of ideological riders that are unrelated to the — to the baseline bill. And I think in this case, that rider that seems to be floated by Senator Paul would fall into that category."
Earnest said he still hasn't spoken to the president about the videos that went viral this week showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing payments for fetal tissue left over from abortions — including using procedures that preserve tissue and organs for use.
"I have read the reports, and I'm confident that he has too, raising significant concerns about the way in which those videos were selectively edited to distort the — not just the words of the individual speaking but also the position of Planned Parenthood," Earnest said. "They have made very clear that they ... they subscribe and implement the highest ethical standards," he said.
Boehner has previously called on Obama to put a stop to Planned Parenthood's "gruesome" practices.
"I think I'd vomit trying to talk about it," he said last week.
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