Conservative lawmakers who are willing to shut down the government over Planned Parenthood funding may want to think twice.
Two surveys released on Monday showed Americans are largely against using the funding as leverage to defund the organization.
According to a new Quinnipiac University poll, the majority of Americans—69%—are against the tactic while 23% support the move. Even among Republicans, only 36% said they’d be in favor of a shutdown while 56% oppose it. Meanwhile, 83% of Democrats and 72% of independents said they were against a shutdown over the funding.
Similarly, a separate NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed that just 35% of Americans are in favor of eliminating Planned Parenthood funding--and of that 35%, just 9% support shutting down the government to achieve that goal. In addition, six in 10 Americans are against completely getting rid of the funding, including 40% who are "strongly" opposed.
And like the Quinnipiac survey, there were divisions among party lines. While 73% of Democrats and 42% of independents have a favorable view of Planned Parenthood, just 18% of GOPers said the same.
Congress is trying to hammer out a spending plan before a midnight deadline on Wednesday in order to prevent some federal agencies from suspending services. Some lawmakers on the far right have said federal money going to Planned Parenthood (which has come under criticism following the release of controversial, secretly recorded videos alleging the group was selling fetal parts) must be taken out of the must-pass legislation.
However, House Speaker John Boehner’s surprise resignation announcement on Friday may decrease the odds of a shutdown. The Ohio congressman had been under intense pressure by some on the far right of his party threatening to give him the boot if he presented any legislation to fund the government without a provision to defund Planned Parenthood. But without the threat of being kicked out over his head, Boehner will likely be able to push through a “clean” bill that includes the funding with the help of Democrats if necessary.
Boehner, who will leave his post at the end of October, said on Sunday that there won’t be a shutdown. After all, Republicans were largely blamed for the 16-day government shutdown two years ago over defunding Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
“The Senate is expected to pass a continuing resolution next week,” he said on CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday. “The House will take up the Senate bill.” But perhaps in effort to ameliorate GOP critics, he added there will be a select committee investigating the Planned Parenthood videos. The House is reportedly considering taking a vote to create a special committee to probe the organization as early as this week.
The Quinnipiac survey of 1,574 registered voters was taken Sept. 17-21 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. The NBC/WSJ poll surveyed 1,000 adults between Sept. 20-24 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.