The fallout from Sen. Randy Feenstra’s unwillingness to express support for a federal Heartbeat bill and speak out against National Right to Life’s opposition to the Heartbeat bill along with mailers that Rep. Steve Holt called “garbage” have pushed Holt, a conservative leader in the Iowa House, to publicly express support for Congressman Steve King.
You can watch Feenstra’s non-answer to King here:
“I made a decision early on in our congressional race not to endorse anyone,” Holt said. “Republicans do not need me to tell them who to vote for. They don’t need anyone to tell them who to vote for. They can make a wise decision without my input.”
Holt condemned mailers he has seen against King and went into a conversation about how the Heartbeat bill was passed in Iowa.
“After seeing the slanderous mailings that are being sent out against Congressman Steve King and hearing inaccurate statements made by one particular candidate during the forums (Feenstra), I have made the decision to simply tell you that I am voting for Congressman Steve King and to tell you why,” Holt said.
Holt referenced the mailers from Defending Main Street Super PAC.
“The information on these mailers is slanderous and usually contains only half the truth,” he said.
Holt took issue with one mailer that talked about King voting against the Coronavirus Response Act.
“He was simply trying to stop the billions of dollars of garbage spending the Democrats were throwing into that bill, including millions of dollars for the Kennedy Center,” Holt said. “Now, we all know how that worked out.
“Congressman King was trying to stop the Democrats from using the Coronavirus emergency to advance their radical agenda, spend billions of dollars in trying to transform the nation into something most of us would not even recognize.”
After the Crawford County forum, Holt said he and King had a discussion. Holt said he knows King shares his deep concerns about actions taken by government in response to COVID-19 and the “dire implications” to our economic future and our liberties.
“I know that he stands for the bill of rights and for common sense, conservative government based upon the founding values of our nation,” Holt said. “I know that he recognizes the importance of American exceptionalism and he understands what makes us exceptional. As (Alexis) de Tocqueville so eloquently put it, ‘If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.’ Congressman King understands that.”
Holt said he believes in Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment — not speaking ill of fellow Republicans, but…
“I watch day after day as these garbage mailers arrive in my mailbox likely sent by individuals most of us would identify as RINOs — Republican In Name Only,” Holt said.
Ultimately, Holt said, he knows Congressman King.
“I know that he believes his conservative values will lift up everyone regardless of gender, regardless of race, regardless of creed,” he said. “I know that he embraces the values that make America and Iowa great. And I know that he fights for those values as hard as he possibly can. I know this because I have seen it personally.”
Holt was one of the Republican leaders in the House when it came to passing Iowa’s Heartbeat bill. He said the legislation was nearly identical to what King introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“He had staff members at the Iowa House nearly every day working with those of us who were fighting to get the Heartbeat bill passed,” Holt said. “I remember having numerous conversations with him and his staff. He would call me and simply ask what can I do to help you get this passed. He was there for us, sending staff to help us making phone calls. In Washington D.C., he was fighting a so-called pro-life group that suddenly decided they were opposed to the Heartbeat bill. In Iowa, that group now I believe supports Sen. Feenstra.
“Having fought in the trenches on the life issue for six years, it is inexplicable to me that a so-called pro-life group would not support a Heartbeat bill. With all of this going on, with all of these battles, Congressman King was still helping us to get it done on the state level. He was the key reason that we ultimately were able to get it passed.”
Holt called Feenstra’s comments about how Feenstra got the Heartbeat bill done in Iowa “ridiculous,” along with Feenstra’s assertion that King has not been effective.
“The fact of the matter is many Republicans in the Iowa House and Senate worked hard to get the Heartbeat bill passed. There were many legislators who, in their public statements and behind the scenes worked hard and showed themselves to be at the forefront of this battle. I had frequent communication with Iowa Senators who were trying to get the votes in the House to pass the bill, help us get the votes to pass the Heartbeat bill. They would call. They would offer support, ask if there’s anything they could do.
“I could tell you that I personally never received communication from Sen. Feenstra and I was indeed in the middle of the battle of the Heartbeat bill. I do know that I was helped immeasurably by Congressman Steve King. Congressman King walks the walk when it comes to fighting for the values he talks about on the campaign trail.”
Holt said it is a difficult message to deliver because he has gotten to know many of the congressional candidates personally and deeply respects them and their commitment to conservative values.
“I believe they would make excellent congressmen, however, we already have an outstanding congressman who has been fighting for our values for years,” Holt said. “Because he is so effective, he has become the target of the far left and their media mouthpieces. I have a little experience with this folks because I have faced the same thing on a much smaller scale here in Iowa because I have been a leader in passing such legislation as banning sanctuary cities, the Heartbeat bill, collective bargaining reform, judicial nomination reform. All of these things were strongly opposed by Democrats and the Left. I have had my share of attacks on my family and on me personally.
“Congressman King faces the same thing on a much larger scale. And, by the way, it took me two years to get the law passed that made sanctuary cities illegal here in Iowa. And, once again, Congressman King was there helping me to get it passed.”
Holt said the reason King takes so many arrows isn’t that he is ineffective, but because he is so effective.
“He is attacked and accused of many different ridiculous things precisely because he is highly effective in promoting our conservative values in Washington D.C. and right here in the state of Iowa,” Holt said. “It is not because I believe other candidates running for this office are not qualified, I believe most of them are. I believe we already have a highly effective congressman who has been the subject of numerous unfair attacks precisely because he fights for the values he talked about on the campaign trail.
“He’s the same person behind the door as he is in front of the door. I know. I’ve seen it. I am glad he is fighting for our values in Washington D.C. and right here in Iowa. And this Republican intends to vote for Congressman Steve King on Tuesday, June 2 and in the general election.”