GOP Probe Into Planned Parenthood Funding Comes Up Empty
Jason Chaffetz says he's found no evidence of wrongdoing by the family planning providerJennifer Bendery White House & Congressional Reporter, The Huffington Post
WASHINGTON -- Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said Thursday that the GOP's investigation into Planned Parenthood's use of federal funds hasn't turned up anything.
"Did I look at the finances and have a hearing specifically as to the revenue portion and how they spend? Yes. Was there any wrongdoing? I didn't find any," he said during a Judiciary Committee hearing on the family planning provider.
Chaffetz, a candidate for House speaker, grilled Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards during a five-hour hearing last week. He questioned her salary, asked about the organization's expenses and revenues, and pressed Richards on why the group had revenue of $127 million last year if it's a nonprofit. (Nonprofits put their revenues back into their programs.)
But after all that, he concluded that Planned Parenthood isn't doing anything sketchy with its money. "Did we find any wrongdoing? The answer was no," Chaffetz said.
His concession will be music to Democrats' ears, who have long accused Republicans of trying to sink Planned Parenthood because they oppose abortion. The women's health care provider gets about $500 million a year in federal funds, but federal law prohibits any of it from being used for abortions. Instead, the money is used to subsidize a range of health care services for low-income women, including birth control, cancer screenings and tests for sexually transmitted diseases.