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House Speaker Paul Ryan promises bill to defund Obamacare, Planned Parenthood

By Andrew V. Pestano Follow @AVPLive9 Contact the Author   |   Jan. 6, 2016 at 1:24 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- Speaker of the House Paul Ryan on Wednesday said a bill will be presented to President Barack Obama to defund Planned Parenthood and repeal fundamental parts of Obamacare.

The Wisconsin Republican made the comments during his first press conference of the new year. In a statement, Ryan said the bill, called the Restoring Americans' Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act, could reduce the deficit by $516 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

"Today the House is going to put on the president's desk a bill that repeals Obamacare and defunds Planned Parenthood," Ryan said. "This is the first time in five years we will finally put a bill on the president's desk that defunds Obamacare."

Obama has previously promised to veto any bill attempting to defund Obamacare, formally known as the Affordable Care Act.

"The Restoring Americans' Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act was originally slated to save taxpayers $474 billion. However, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office determined that it will actually reduce the deficit by $516 billion thanks to the year-end spending bill, which delayed key Obamacare taxes and prevents a taxpayer bailout of the law's risk corridor program," Ryan wrote.

Planned Parenthood has been at the center of controversy since July when the Center for Medical Progress anti-abortion group released videos claiming to show Planned Parenthood officials attempting to make profits from fetal tissue after conducting abortions.

The anti-abortion group released videos of members meeting Planned Parenthood representatives while undercover -- videos the anti-abortion group state are evidence Planned Parenthood sells fetal tissue. The women's health organization said the videos were heavily edited and were not an accurate representation of the practice.

Since then, attempts to defund Planned Parenthood have been common at a state level. On Dec. 30, a federal appeals court put a temporary stay on Utah's effort to defund the state's Planned Parenthood chapter, allowing about $275,000 in federal funding to continue to the women's health center.

The controversy surrounding Planned Parenthood reignited the abortion debate in the United States. In November, Robert Lewis Dear killed three people when he attacked a Planned Parenthood branch in Colorado -- a crime to which he confessed, stating he is a "warrior for the babies."

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