116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
SIOUX CENTER — The speakers and 300-plus people at U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra’s second-annual family picnic fundraiser Thursday rallied around his campaign slogan: “Randy delivers.”
"Look what he’s done in the minority. Think of what he can do in the majority," Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said, referring to Republican efforts to retake control of the U.S. House this fall.
Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley asked the crowd at the Dean Classic Car Museum to stand and cheer the one-term congressman from Hull, saying, "You have one fantastic, pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, pro-freedom congressman.“
The words were not so kind for President Joe Biden and other Democrats.
Haley, a former South Carolina governor, accused Biden of "falling all over himself" to reenter a deal with Iran to curb the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Middle Eastern country.
"When America is distracted, the world is less safe," Haley told the attendees, who paid $50 or more for a picnic lunch.
Haley, 50, spent Wednesday and Thursday at several events in Iowa, fueling speculation of a 2024 run for president. Feenstra's 4th District is the most Republican in the state and considered key to winning the state's first-in-the-nation GOP caucuses that year.
In April 2021, Haley said she wouldn't run for president if Trump decides to launch another bid. Asked about that Thursday, Haley said, "If it looks like there's a place for me, … I'll put 100 percent in."
During her 15-minute speech, Haley condemned the governments in China, Iran and Russia and the Biden administration's handling of foreign affairs.
She said Florida's so-called "Don't Say Gay Bill," which limits what teachers are allowed to discuss regarding gender and sexual preference in schools, didn't go far enough.
Feenstra accused Democrats of creating "one crisis after another" and "doing more to protect meatpackers, instead of meat producers."
In the House, Feenstra has pushed for a version of the Cattle Market Transparency Act, which would require beef packers to buy more cattle through bidding in open markets.
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig praised Feenstra’s work and lauded the U.S. Supreme Court decision this week that limits the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to regulate power plant emissions.
Before the campaign speeches started, state Sen. Jeff Taylor, R-Sioux Center, led a prayer and thanked God for the Supreme Court ruling that overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case that recognized a woman’s constitutional right to abortion.
Feenstra was asked about the possibility of Congress enacting a nationwide abortion ban. In response, he talked about his faith but didn't offer concrete action items.
Reynolds, who's running for re-election against Democrat Deidre DeJear in November, said she helped make Iowans lives easier by keeping businesses open during the COVID-19 pandemic and by reducing the length of time residents can claim unemployment benefits.
"When you pay people to stay home, they stay home," Reynolds said. "We’re going to do everything we can to get people back to work sooner."
"We’re making great progress, and we’re not done," the governor said.
When he spoke, Feenstra said it wasn't enough to simply win big in November. He said Republicans also need to have a plan.
"Then we can make this country prosperous again," Feenstra said. "And be respected on the world stage."