WASHINGTON -- Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Monday called on Republicans to disband the House committee investigating Planned Parenthood, accusing them of creating a "frenzy of hate and anger" that contributed to last week's mass shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado.
"Republicans shouldn't waste their time. I would hope that they would give up before they match the millions of dollars -- at last count more than $5 million -- they've wasted on the so-called Benghazi 'Let's get Secretary Clinton' Committee," Reid said, referring to the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's handling of the 2012 terrorist attack in Libya.
"We bring people into a frenzy of hate and anger while providing them with easy access to firearms," Reid continued. "That has proven disastrous to our country. We have a responsibility as leaders to think very hard about what we say and do in this context."
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) joined Reid in condemning the Planned Parenthood committee and urging its demise in a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).
"We should not and cannot continue this politically motivated committee targeting Planned Parenthood, which is already costing taxpayers and helping to create a dangerous climate for legal health care in America," Boxer wrote.
Republicans stepped up their attacks on Planned Parenthood over the summer, after an anti-abortion group released videos purporting to show leaders of the family planning organization endorsing the sale of fetal parts, which Planned Parenthood has repeatedly said it does not.
The videos may have played a role in the shooting spree at the Colorado Springs branch of Planned Parenthood, which Reid characterized as a "vile assault" and an act of "domestic terrorism." Law enforcement officials said accused killer Robert Lewis Dear told them "no more baby parts" after surrendering.
"We in the Senate should not fail to see the context in which this vile assault took place," Reid said on Monday. "Last summer, a right-wing group began releasing videos with unsubstantiated allegations. Since that time, the Republican Congress have made it their mission to push these unsubstantiated allegations."
Republicans on Monday defended the committee and said the Planned Parenthood investigation would continue.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters the investigation was necessary to ensure that "all pieces of information can come forward."
"We'll see how that plays out," McCarthy added.
McCarthy dismissed the possibility that Planned Parenthood could cause a government shutdown. Some Republicans have threatened to insert a rider defunding the organization into the upcoming spending bill. President Barack Obama has promised to veto such a bill, which could send the government into a partial shutdown after Dec. 11.
Also on HuffPost: