WASHINGTON -- Rep. Tom Emmer said late Thursday he remains a pro-life Republican and is committed to working towards defunding Planned Parenthood.
But he is not willing to shut down the government for it.
"Since the horrendous and disturbing videos surrounding Planned Parenthood selling body parts have come to light, Rep. Emmer has taken actions to investigate and defund Planned Parenthood," spokeswoman Becky Alery said, in a statement. "Rep. Emmer does not believe that shutting down the federal government is something that should be used as a threat or as a negotiating tool."
As of late Thursday, 31 Congressional Republicans signed onto a letter saying they would not vote to fund the federal government, which runs out of money Sept. 30, unless cash for Planned Parenthood is stripped out of the federal budget.
It is already illegal to fund abortions with federal dollars, but Planned Parenthood provides health care and cancer screenings for mostly low-income women.
None of Minnesota Republicans signed onto the letter.
The stalemate between Republicans could mean a short government shutdown at the end of the month, though Republican leadership is bringing a batch of anti-abortion measures to the floor in hopes of assuaging some of the members who signed the letter.
Emmer's staff points out he is a cosponsor of the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015, which gets a vote today.