Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is planning to use Christian pastors around the country to put pressure on his fellow Republican lawmakers to support a government shutdown in an effort to defund Planned Parenthood.
Cruz spoke to more than a 1,000 pastors and religious leaders in conference call Tuesday, telling them to "preach from the pulpit" about Planned Parenthood and help garner support for an amendment he plans to add to the federal budget bill that must be passed in November, The Huffington Post
"Here is the challenge," the presidential hopeful told the group of pastors. "The leadership of both parties, both the Democrats and Republicans, want an empty show vote. They want a vote on Planned Parenthood that has no teeth or no consequence, which allows Republicans to vote for defunding, Democrats to vote for continuing funding, and nothing to change."
That's because "the leadership of both parties have publicly said they do not want the vote tied to any legislation that must pass," Cruz said.
There was a "show vote" in the Senate over defunding Planned Parenthood in early August that was blocked by the Democrats.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
does not support risking a government shutdown under any circumstances, even over Planned Parenthood's funding.
"We’ve been down this path before," McConnell said earlier this month. "This is a tactic that’s been tried going back to the '90s, frequently by Republican majorities that always have the same ending: that the focus is on the fact that the government is shut down, not on what the underlying issue that is being protested is."
But Cruz thinks that a shutdown will be President Barack Obama's fault, not that of the Republicans.
"It will be a decision of the president's and the president's alone whether he would veto funding for the federal government because of a commitment to ensuring taxpayer dollars continue to flow to what appears to be a national criminal organization," Cruz said.
Planned Parenthood has come under fire in recent months after the Center for Medical Progress released a series of undercover videos allegedly showing Planned Parenthood officials engaged in selling fetal body parts for a profit.
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