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House Speaker responds to calls for Fisher to be stripped of committee assignments

Called upon by Iowa House Minority Leader Todd Prichard to strip State Rep. Dean Fisher (R-Montour) of his committee assignments, Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley made it clear he will not meet the request.

“Minority Leader Prichard is playing the exact partisan politics he hypocritically denounced in his opening comments just two short weeks ago,” Grassley said. “Just as we’re seeing from the left across the country, Leader Prichard clearly believes that the right to free speech should only belong to those he agrees with. This session, Republicans are focused on doing the job they were elected to do. With Republicans now representing part or all of 97 out of Iowa’s 99 counties, Iowans made their voices heard, unequivocally, that they want more of the steady leadership shown by House Republicans and less of the partisan games and attacks from Democrats.”

A letter sent to House Republicans by Prichard on Jan. 15 demanded Grassley to remove Fisher from his seats as Chair of the House Environmental Protection Committee and other committee assignments due to Facebook posts made by Fisher following this month’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

“To add to what Speaker Grassley said, the minority leader continues to play partisan political games and attack me instead of addressing the actual issues at hand,” Fisher said. “In Iowa, it’s important we continue to take the appropriate steps to ensure the integrity of our elections, rather than look the other way when Democratic election officials refuse to follow the law. I will not stop using my First Amendment right to free speech.”

The letter from Prichard cites a post in which Fisher claims the insurrection of the U.S. Capitol, “was the result of widespread mistrust of our election processes, and that mistrust is laid solely at the feat of the Democratic party.”

Fisher further claims, “shady practices, outright cheating, and the inability to count votes in a timely fashion,” took place in Democrat-led cities and states.

The letter also cites a comment made by Fisher on a Tama County Democrats post regarding the United States Supreme Court decision rejecting the overturning of the 2020 election results. The comment reads, “…we will survive. Remember, our side has the guns, the other side doesn’t know which bathroom to use.”

The letter from Prichard asks Fisher to issue an apology for the comments, accept responsibility for the posts, denounce violence which took place in the U.S. Capitol and to stop spreading misinformation about the legitimacy of the 2020 election.

“After the insurrection in Washington D.C., I challenged every lawmaker in the Iowa House to hold themselves to a higher standard, commit to truth, and recognize that our words have consequences. As state lawmakers, it is beholden upon us to strengthen our democracy, not work to tear it down,” Prichard said. “This is not a problem unique to Washington D.C. and it cannot be ignored. We have to hold leaders who spread lies and conspiracy theories while alluding to violence accountable here in Iowa to make sure an insurrection never happens again.”

Contact Trevor Babcock at 641-753-6611 or tbabcock@timesrepublican.com.

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