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Hoyer: No govt shutdown if common sense prevails

Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said Friday his party would cooperate with Republicans to pass a short-term spending bill and avoid a government shutdown if the parties can agree on a reasonable path forward.

Congress is on the brink of a second shutdown in two years as 28 Republicans threaten to vote down any spending bill that funds Planned Parenthood ahead of a Sept. 30 deadline.

"If we pursue a reasonable, responsible common-sense resolution of the differences for the short term, as we have historically done, then no, I don't think there's going to be a shutdown," Hoyer, the House Minority Whip, told "Squawk Box."

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Hoyer noted that Congress has historically been able to reach such an agreement, and he said there was no desire by Democrats to shut down the government.

"Democrats have not had a policy of shutting down government," he said. "Every time the government was kept open it was because Democratic votes overwhelmingly made sure that happened."

He said Republicans had engineered past government shutdowns, as well as a number of close calls, including during a 1995 budget battle, a 2012 debt limit debate, a 2013 row over the Affordable Care Act, and a disagreement earlier this year over immigration that nearly shuttered the Department of Homeland Security.

The issue of Planned Parenthood funding is important but extraneous to the business of funding the government, Hoyer added.

"I don't think the founding fathers had any thought in their mind that the board of directors of a great country would make a decision to shut itself down over extraneous issues," he said.

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Republicans have attempted to defund Planned Parenthood in the past, but Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., has led the latest effort this summer following the release of videos by an anti-abortion group that allege Planned Parenthood branches sold parts of fetuses for profit.

Three forensics experts hired by a consultant paid for by Planned Parenthood concluded the group behind the videos, the Center for Medical Progress, heavily edited and manipulated them to suggest wrongdoing.

Investigations in five states where the videos were shot determined Planned Parenthood acted within the bounds of the law. A 1993 law allows abortion providers to be reimbursed for the cost of handling and transporting fetal specimens donated for medical research.

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