Donald Trump said he believes Republicans should shut down the government rather than fund Planned Parenthood, the health services group that is facing scrutiny after undercover videos of its officials emerged.
Trump said Monday on conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt’s show that the videos, which feature Planned Parenthood officials apparently discussing the sale of fetal tissue and organs for medical research, are “disgraceful.”
At the time of the interview, Trump said he was unclear where the Senate stood on an upcoming vote Monday to strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding.
“I’m in my office in New York and I guess as we speak they are going for a vote of some kind,” Trump said. “Is the word that they won’t get that vote?”
Hewitt explained to Trump that Democrats would likely filibuster the measure, keeping Republicans below the 60-vote threshold needed to move forward with the measure.
On the vote to defund Planned Parenthood in the Senate on Monday, opponents failed to garner the votes needed to pass a procedural hurdle, and some conservatives in both chambers have called for congressional leaders to attach overall funding of the budget to defunding the organization when the votes take place after the August recess.
On Tuesday afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said there will be “no more government shutdowns.”
“Through negotiation, we have divided government,” McConnell told reporters after a Senate Republican policy meeting. “Different parties control the Congress and the White House. And at some point, we’ll negotiate the way forward.”
The sale of fetal organs and tissue for profit is illegal, though Planned Parenthood officials were apparently discussing that kind of transaction.
The officials are seen on camera talking about abortion procedures in detail in a matter-of-fact manner. The videos have sparked outrage in anti-abortion circles with conservatives and, notably Republican presidential candidates, jumping on the call to defund the group.
Planned Parenthood receives federal funding for the health services it provides to 2.7 million people annually, but cannot use federal funds for any abortion-related procedures.