Faso: Linking Planned Parenthood to health care reform ‘political minefield’

In a closed-door meeting in Philadelphia last week Rep. John Faso, R-Kinderhook, expressed concern about tying the repeal of the Affordable Care Act with defunding Planned Parenthood, according to a story from the Washington Post.

The Washington Post says it obtained the recording of the policy retreat in Philadelphia from an anonymous email address and confirmed with lawmakers or their offices their quotes in its story.

Faso, according to the Washington Post, was recorded saying this at the meeting:

“We are just walking into a gigantic political trap if we go down this path of sticking Planned Parenthood in the health insurance bill,” he said. “If you want to do it somewhere else, I have no problem, but I think we are creating a political minefield for ourselves — House and Senate.”

Faso’s statement came to light after an interview that aired on WAMC on Friday in which he talked about Planned Parenthood. In that interview, Faso said he didn’t support using federal law to defund Planned Parenthood and organizations like it for politically motivated reasons.

“I don’t think we should be using federal law, particularly in this health insurance reform effort, to deal in a punitive way with an organization which some people may not like politically. So I don’t support this effort to defund an organization which is providing routine health care services to people, and which is doing so under auspices of state licensure, and within the regulation of the state law that’s appropriate,” Faso said on WAMC.

Faso said on Friday that there is no difference in his positions. He said if defunding Planned Parenthood came up in a separate bill he would not support that bill either. He said he supports the Hyde Amendment, a 40-year-old policy that prohibits medical offices from using federal Medicaid funds to provide abortions.

“There is no daylight in my positions,” Faso said.

Faso, a freshman Republican in the House, represents the 19th Congressional District. The district includes all of Sullivan and Ulster counties. He serves on the House Budget, Agriculture and Transportation and Infrastructure committees.

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