A picture of Representative Janice D. Schakowsky
Janice S.
Democrat IL 9

About Rep. Janice
  • Providing for Consideration of Senate Amendment to H.R. 3762, Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015

    by Representative Janice D. Schakowsky

    Posted on 2016-01-06

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    SCHAKOWSKY. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this rule and the reconciliation bill, just another budget measure being used as a vehicle to defund Planned Parenthood.

    This is the 11th Republican attack on women's health in this Congress, including four prior votes to defund Planned Parenthood. While House Republicans have already passed 10 antiwomen health measures and are now voting on their 11th, they have not passed a single measure that helps women get the reproductive health care that they need.

    So here we are--Happy New Year and with a new House Speaker--facing the same old story: Republican attacks on women's access to health care in the very first week. The news this morning reported Republicans are saying this bill will show the American people the difference between the political parties in this election year. For me, that is a shameful admission. The difference is clear: My Republican colleagues remain willing to play partisan politics at the expense of women's health care. The women of America are watching, and they don't like what they see.

    Last fall, House Republicans threatened to shut down the government if must-pass omnibus legislation did not defund Planned Parenthood. Now, that effort was stopped, but only by promises to include a defunding provision in this budget reconciliation bill and by the creation of a select panel to investigate Planned Parenthood.

    Never mind the fact that three House committees have already investigated Planned Parenthood following the release of selectively edited videos manufactured by an antiabortion group and that none of these committees found any evidence of wrongdoing.

    Apparently, uninterested in the facts, Republicans have continued to make inflammatory and baseless claims. They also push forward on their new select investigative panel, meaning even more taxpayer dollars will be spent targeting the Nation's reproductive healthcare providers instead of improving America's access to critical healthcare services.

    Having established this select panel, House Republicans have now refused to wait for the panel to hold even its first meeting before voting, once again, to defund Planned Parenthood. In this atmosphere, it is hard to imagine that any investigation will be fair and objective. Members have already declared the organization guilty as charged, and there is no reason to believe that they will be more openminded with regard to others who provide safe and legal reproductive healthcare services in this Nation.

    Facts matter. The truth matters. Despite our objection to the creation of the select panel, as its ranking member, I will work to ensure that the investigation is as fair and transparent and as objective as possible.

    The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Poe of Texas). The time of the gentlewoman has expired.

    Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I yield an additional 30 seconds to the gentlewoman from Illinois.

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