WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Ranking Member Jan Schakowsky released the following statement in response to the Select Panel Republicans’ final report, which was drafted in secret, without any input from Panel Democrats:
“History will not look kindly upon this Panel. Panel Republicans spent nearly $1.6 million taxpayer dollars chasing inflammatory lies being peddled by anti-abortion extremists. Their inappropriate working relationship with these groups put law-abiding doctors and researchers at risk.
“After fifteen months investigating the secretly-recorded and deceptively-edited video allegations, Panel Republicans have uncovered no evidence of wrongdoing. Yet, rather than ‘follow the facts where they lead,’ as Chair Blackburn promised, Panel Republicans ignored them.
“They have repeatedly made false claims, including a series of ‘criminal referrals’ to federal, state, and local law enforcement officials based on unsourced, unverified documents and information. In some instances, Panel Republicans recycled claims of anti-abortion extremists that have already been investigated and dismissed.
“The Panel’s so-called ‘final report’ is illegitimate. Under the resolution, the Panel – not just its chair or majority members – must issue the report. Republicans refused to give Democratic members the opportunity to review the report, failed to hold the required public meeting, and ignored the requirement that the full Panel vote on its release.”
“This Select Investigative Panel leaves behind a legacy of lies, intimidation, and procedural misconduct. It will be remembered, like the House Un-American Activities Committee and McCarthy hearings for its excesses and abuses of power.”
Last week, Ranking Member Schakowsky sent a letter to House Energy and Commerce Chair Upton regarding the requirement that the Panel – not just its chair or majority members – issue a final report. As confirmed by the House Parliamentarian, this requires formal action of the full Panel and the corresponding opportunity to review proposed text prior to a Panel meeting for the required public debate, possible amendment, and recorded vote on its release, as well as the opportunity to submit official minority views.