For a November afternoon in Iowa, the weather was perfect. It was a sunny, seventy degrees, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The weekend weather was probably the best Iowans have experienced in months. For one Iowa couple, this perfect November day also just happened to be their wedding day.
There was just one problem. While most people would agree that the weather in Iowa is the most unpredictable variable when trying to plan a wedding, this couple had to deal with another uncontrollable force – the United States Congress.
Despite the unseasonably warm weather and the sunny blue skies, one thing was missing, the father of the groom. He wasn’t tied up in traffic. He wasn’t the type of father who didn’t have a good relationship with his children. What kept the father of the groom away from the wedding on Saturday was the oath he took to defend the Constitution of the United States and a promise he made to the people of Iowa’s fifth congressional district to represent them.
Congressman Steve King was absent when his son Mick married his fiancée Stephanie in Ida Grove because Speaker Nancy Pelosi scheduled the vote on the controversial healthcare bill for Saturday.
One might think that missing a wedding so that you can be present in the nation’s capitol might create some rift within the family. That was not the case in Ida Grove on Saturday. While the family would have preferred to have been whole, they understood and appreciated why Congressman King couldn’t be there. Both Congressman King and his family take his oath of office very seriously. When King raised his right hand and vowed to defend the United State’s Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, he meant it.
In an interview with TheIowaRepublican.com, Congressman King admitted that it was hard not being able to attend the wedding. King said, “Logistically, it is impossible for me to attend a two o’clock wedding in Iowa and be back in Washington to vote against the health care bill at five o’clock eastern time. Even if I had Air Force One, I couldn’t make that work.”
King then recalled a recent story about a soldier who was deployed in Iraq. King said, “I attended a family event recently in which one of the family members was unable to attend because he was serving his country in Iraq. A few months later when I visited Iraq, I brought with me some photos from that event. I gave them to Captain O’Brien and then wondered if I should have done that. I didn’t want to make him homesick, and I told him such. He then looked at me with the steely eye of a captain and said, ‘It’s manageable sir.’”
Congressman King has the same mindset about missing his son Mick’s wedding. King told TheIowaRepublican.com, “How can I ask a soldier to be deployed to Iraq, serve their country, and uphold the oath they take to defend our nation if I will not uphold the oath I take at the start of each session of Congress? How could I encourage thousands of people to gather at the Capitol to speak out against a healthcare bill that undermines the pillars of American exceptionalism, and then not be present to cast my vote?”
“Yes, it’s hard not being back home for my son’s wedding, but it’s manageable,” King added.
King believes that the healthcare bill is the crown jewel in President Obama’s and Speaker Pelosi’s leftward lurch towards socialism. King said, “We are at the tipping point; if the bill is passed and signed into law, it will corrode the fabric of our culture.” King predicts that passing the largest entitlement program in our nation’s history will be a disincentive for people, discouraging them from being productive, self-sufficient members of our society.
“Not being here to cast a vote against this healthcare bill was never an option. I couldn’t live with myself if the bill passed by just one vote, and I wasn’t present. The best gift I could give my son would be to cast a vote that allows him, and hopefully the blessings that come from his marriage, to enjoy the same freedoms that we currently have, while also trying to expand those liberties,” King added.
Congressman King deserves to be commended, not just for casting a vote against government run healthcare which passed last Saturday night by only five votes, but for taking his oath of office seriously. In the last year, some people have claimed that King has “gone Washington.” Well, that might be true. He did go to Washington to represent the people of Iowa’s fifth district. It’s tough to tell what other members of Congress would have done if faced with the decision between voting against a huge healthcare entitlement program or attending a son’s wedding.
While I’m sure that some will continue to criticize Congressman King, find me one member of Congress who is more in touch with his constituents and that you can always count on to do the right thing.
I think there are a lot of people who believe that, while King might not be the Congressman who represents their district, he is the Congressman who represents them. There are a lot of politicians who go around preaching that leaders should put the cause before themselves, but Congressman King has a record of actually doing that on a daily basis.
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