Congressman Marsha Blackburn – Abortion clinics profiting from selling baby parts.

Congressman Marsha Blackburn – Abortion clinics profiting from selling baby parts.

This Week in Washington
Fellow Americans –

This week the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives held a hearing on The Pricing of Fetal Tissue. Following the release of videos last summer, questions were raised regarding whether abortion clinics and middleman tissue procurement businesses were profiting from the sale of baby body parts, organs and tissues. Pursuant to H. Res. 461, the Select Investigative Panel has subpoenaed the business and accounting documents of several organizations to determine if they were in violation of federal statute 42 USC § 289g-2, which prohibits the transfer of any fetal tissue for valuable consideration that exceeds the reasonable costs associated with the procurement. When questions are being raised about the possibility that a federal statute has been violated, Congress has a duty to the taxpayers to find the facts and get to the bottom of what is actually going on.

Documents uncovered so far by the work of the Select Investigative Panel show it is more likely than not that abortion clinics and middleman procurement businesses may have violated federal law by profiting from the payments they collected from the sale of baby body parts. Key moments from the hearing included:

1) Three former U.S. prosecutors said fetal-tissue profiteering probe is warranted.
2) Witness Brian Lennon told the panel he believes “a competent and ethical prosecutor could determine probable cause that both the abortion clinic and the procurement business violated the statute, aided and abetted one another in violating the statute and likely conspired together to violate the statute.” Lennon went on to say “in my opinion, there is proof without a reasonable doubt.”
3) Fay Clayton, a lead Democrat witness, told the panel that StemExpress should turn over accounting records.

As I reported from our last hearing, all witnesses agreed that no one should profit from the sale of baby body parts. Not only is this investigation warranted, but further examination of accounting records is needed to get the complete facts about what was actually going on. The Select Investigative Panel will continue its efforts to compel StemExpress and other entities to turn over ALL business and accounting records that have previously been subpoenaed by panel investigators. I encourage you to watch full video of the hearing here and take a look at this article, 11 takeaways from our Select Panel hearing.

At any time during the year, but especially during tax season, we become more and more frustrated with both the incompetence, unfairness and overreach of the IRS. This week we dedicated much of our legislative activity to passing reform bills to bring transparency and accountability to the IRS. Here’s what these four bills do:

1) H.R. 3724, the Ensuring Integrity in the IRS Workforce Act of 2016, says the IRS should not be able to rehire employees who were fired for misconduct.
2) H.R. 4890, the IRS Bonuses Tied to Measurable Metrics Act, says if an IRS employee didn’t earn a bonus, they shouldn’t receive one.
3) H.R. 4885, the IRS Oversight While Eliminating Spending Act of 2016, says since the IRS charges Americans a fee for doing its job, the American people should have a say in where those funds are spent.
4) H.R. 1206, the No Hires for the Delinquent IRS Act, says the IRS should not have employees with major tax debt.

As you read the titles of the bills and their short summaries, you are probably curious as to why this was not already a part of the law. I will say that over the past three years as we have investigated various actions of the IRS and their offenses have come to light, that we have decided it is time to add some accountability and restrictions on them.

Today I’m enjoying my time back in the district. I’ve spent the day in Clarksville meeting with local healthcare providers, friends from Lifepoint Church (pictured below) and ROTC cadets at the ROTC 100th Anniversary Lunch at APSU. Remember that it is the Main Street Festival in Franklin on Saturday and Sunday.

We achieved a success that is one way the federal government can help in the good work of our state legislators in fighting the opioid abuse issue. This week the President signed into legislation I authored with Congressman Tom Marino (R-PA) that both ensures access to proper medication for patients with legitimate needs and allows us to continue battling the drug diversion and abuse problem in the United States. The Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016 combats the inappropriate use of prescription drugs by bringing greater clarity and transparency to the requirements for safe and secure distribution of these medicines. Read more about it in my monthly column, here.

Hope to see you around the district this weekend.

Marsha

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