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Congressman Emanuel Cleaver

Representing the 5th District of MISSOURI

Congressman Cleaver Sends Letter Calling for End of Destructive House Select Panel

May 24, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II, along with 177 other Members of the House Pro-Choice Caucus, sent a second letter respectfully asking House Speaker Paul Ryan to disband the Select Investigative Panel on Planned Parenthood. An initial letter was sent in February, but after continued exploitations of power, which have risked the safety of Americans, House Democrats have again called on Speaker Ryan to end this destructive behavior immediately.

The Select Panel’s investigation has been solely focused on punishing women, health care providers, and researchers, who are already following the law. By continuing unilateral subpoenas, Chair Marcia Blackburn and the Panel are putting women and their doctors at risk, in addition to endangering the life-saving research and health care that they provide. Two weeks ago, the majority released a doctor and his clinic’s name, further endangering the individual, staff, and patients. The Panel has continued to encroach upon rules and practices of the House and the committee system.

“The Panel still does not have any believable confirmation or evidence in support of its claim that federal laws were broken,” said Congressman Cleaver. “Yet the Chair, majority members, and staff continue to issue subpoenas, 36 so far, without asking for voluntary compliance first. This destructive behavior must be stopped, because of the lives that are at risk. The history of harassment and violence against doctors and clinics is clear – from regular picketing to vicious instances of gun violence. Congress has no business pursuing these unsubstantiated claims.”

“I am deeply disappointed by the majority’s decision to continue down this road, despite knowing all the risks,” continued Congressman Cleaver. “The actions of the Select Panel must end; Speaker Ryan needs to disband this panel and halt these dangerous exploits without delay. The Panel is spending countless tax payer dollars on a baseless exploration that endangers women, scientists, health providers, and others involved in women's health care and research.”

A copy of today’s letter can be found here.

Emanuel Cleaver, II is the U.S. Representative for Missouri’s Fifth Congressional District, which includes Kansas City, Independence, Lee's Summit, Raytown, Grandview, Sugar Creek, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Oak Grove, North Kansas City, Gladstone, Claycomo, and all of Ray, Lafayette, and Saline Counties. He is a member of the exclusive House Financial Services Committee, the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, and also a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus. A high-resolution photo of Congressman Cleaver is available here.

For more information, please contact Heather Frierson at 816-842-4545 or