A Texas Tea Party group has returned a donation from a congressman for refusing to commit to oppose any legislation that funds Planned Parenthood.
In an interview with The Daily Signal, Ray Myers, the chair of the Kaufman County Texas Tea Party, criticized Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, for refusing to sign the Mulvaney letter.
Signatories of the Mulvaney letter, circulated by Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., pledge “that we cannot and will not support any funding resolution—an appropriations bill, an omnibus package, a continuing resolution, or otherwise—that contains any funding for Planned Parenthood, including mandatory funding streams.”
Hensarling recently attended a fundraiser for the Tea Party group, where he gave it a $1,000 donation. But Myers said in light of their “dissatisfaction” with the congressman’s efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, accepting the money would have been “hypocritical.” He called the group’s decision to return the congressman’s recent donation a “principled stand.”
He praised the members of Congress who have chosen to sign the letter.
“When asked to stand up, they didn’t blink,” Myers said. “Jeb Hensarling blinked.”
Myers added that “this is not the first time” the group has expressed dissatisfaction with the congressman, citing his vote for House Speaker John Boehner.
Planned Parenthood currently faces several state and congressional investigations after undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress raised allegations that it is trafficking aborted fetal body parts, which is a felony in the United States. Spokespersons for Planned Parenthood have denied illegal conduct.
Congress recently approved a continuing resolution in order to avoid a government shutdown. The spending measure did not defund Planned Parenthood and was signed by the president.
Despite Hensarling’s refusal to sign the letter, he did vote against the measure.
In a statement after the vote, Hensarling said:
No American should be forced to subsidize an organization like Planned Parenthood that aborts unborn life and seemingly traffics in human baby body parts—and I have opposed forced taxpayer funding of abortion since the day I arrived in Congress. With the release of the horrific Planned Parenthood videos, even more Americans have become shocked and appalled by the practices of the largest abortion provider in America. The Constitution grants Congress the power of the purse and that public purse should not be used for Planned Parenthood.
Myers said that Hensarling should have committed to the vote beforehand by signing the letter. He called Hensarling a “defender, but not a fighter” for life.
“We’re the grassroots and we are fighting the establishment,” Myers said.