Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) grilled Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), the White House budget chief nominee, on Tuesday over his 2015 crusade to defund Planned Parenthood.
Mulvaney’s nomination to run the Office of Management and Budget has been met with opposition from both sides of the aisle. The congressman has said he believes Social Security is “a Ponzi scheme,” and he voted for a bill that stated Medicaid and Social Security were unconstitutional. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has said he’s deeply concerned about the congressman’s support for defense cuts.
In addition to asking Mulvaney about Social Security at his confirmation hearing, Sanders referenced a July 2015 letter in which the congressman wrote to House Republicans “vehemently urging” them to “use every available tool” to defund Planned Parenthood.
“I hear a lot of talk in this body from our Republican friends about choice. ‘We want to give people choice,’” Sanders said. “Two-and-a-half million Americans, many low-income women, choose Planned Parenthood as their choice for health care. Why would you deny them that choice?”
When Mulvaney responded by saying he wanted to move funding from Planned Parenthood to federally qualified health care clinics, Sanders cut him off.
“Congressman, I know a lot about the community health centers …. But 2½ million people, mostly women, have chosen Planned Parenthood …. Your recommendation is that we should deny 2½ million women their choice of health care.”
Watch the exchange in the video above.