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Congressman Steve Knight Puts Extreme Agenda Ahead of Women and Families in California

September 18, 2015

Congressman Steve Knight Puts Extreme Agenda Ahead of Women and Families in California 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, called out Congressman Steve Knight for putting his extreme ideological agenda ahead of the women and families he was elected to serve by voting to defund Planned Parenthood. Knight was recently put “On Notice” by EMILY’s List, making his seat a top target for Democratic takeover in the upcoming election cycle.

“Instead of spending these last few working days to pass a budget and avoid a government shutdown, Congressman Steve Knight and his extreme Republican colleagues were more interested in defunding Planned Parenthood, which over 800,000 Californians depend on for quality health care services,” said EMILY’s List spokesperson Rachel Thomas. “From his long record of opposing abortion without any exceptions for rape, incest, or to save the life of the woman, to siding with predatory lenders over the hardworking people of his district, this is yet another indication that Congressman Knight has no interest in looking out for women and families in California. EMILY’s List and our three million members are watching, and we plan to send him packing in 2016.”

Congressman Steve Knight’s Record:

  • Knight Voted for an Abortion Ban. In May 2015, Knight voted for a bill that would prohibit abortions in cases where the probable age of the fetus is 20 weeks or later and would impose criminal penalties on doctors who violate the ban. It would provide exceptions for cases in which the woman's life is in danger as well as for pregnancies that are a result of rape if, as amended, for pregnancies that are a result of rape against an adult woman, the woman received counseling or medical treatment for the rape at least 48 hours prior to the abortion. An exception would be provided for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest against a minor if the rape or incest had been previously reported to law enforcement or another government agency authorized to act on reports of child abuse. [HR 36, Vote #223, 5/13/15; CQ Floor Votes]
  • Knight Was One of Three State Legislators to Vote Against Bill Barring Sale of Confederate Flags in State Museums and Gift Shops. On August 27, 2014 the Los Angeles Times reported, “State Sen. Stephen Knight's recent vote against a measure barring the display or sale of Confederate flag images from state museums and gift shops has caused a stir in the High Desert district where he is running for Congress this fall. The Palmdale Republican was one of only three state legislators who voted against the bill by Assemblyman Isadore Hall III (D-Compton), which won final passage in the Assembly last week and was sent to the governor.” [Los Angeles Times, 8/27/14]
  • Knight: “I am a pro-life candidate without exception.” In a 2014 video, Knight stressed his pro-life stance: “So, I’m a pro-life candidate. I’ve made no bones about it. I think that some people run from this issue and they say, oh boy don’t talk about this. I’ve made it very clear, I’m a pro-life candidate without exception [...] You can’t go in there and say you’re pro-life, except in these cases, or except in this case, or except in this case.” [Vimeo, Nov. 2014]
  • HEADLINE: “California Rep. Steve Knight tells a protester, ‘I’ll drop your ass.’” “Freshman Rep. Steve Knight (R-Calif.) threatened one of a group of protesters outside his Simi Valley office last week, telling him, "If you touch me again, I'll drop your ass."” [Washington Post, 4/21/15]
  • Voted against Universal Preschool in California. In May 2014, Knight voted against a bill that would have “[expanded] publicly funded preschool programs to tens of thousands of 4-year-olds from low-income families.” [SB 837, 5/29/14; LA Times, 5/29/14]
  • Knight Voted Against Removing Language Postponing Protections For Service Members From Predatory Lenders. “House Democrats successfully knocked down a GOP plan early Thursday morning that would have blocked predatory lending protections for American soldiers. Republicans had slipped the deregulation measure into the National Defense Authorization Act — a major bill that sets the military’s funding levels. The bill would have imposed a one-year delay on new Department of Defense rules designed to shield military families from abusive terms on payday loans and other forms of expensive short-term credit.” Knight was one of 30 Republicans to oppose the amendment. [Huffington Post4/30/15]

Also “On Notice:”

  • Indiana Governor Mike Pence
  • Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey
  • Rep. Rod Blum (IA-01)
  • Rep. Mike Coffman (CO-06)
  • Rep. Barbara Comstock (VA-10)
  • Rep. Carlos Curbelo (FL-26)
  • Rep. Rodney Davis (IL-13)
  • Rep. Dan Donovan (NY-11)
  • Rep. Cresent Hardy (NV-04)
  • Rep. John Katko (NY-24)
  • Rep. John Kline (MN-02) - retiring
  • Rep. Martha McSally (AZ-02)
  • Rep. Bruce Poliquin (ME-02)
  • Rep. Tim Walberg (MI-07)
  • Rep. David Young (IA-03)
  • Rep. Lee Zeldin (NY-01)
  • Virginia State Senator Richard Black

The “On Notice” list can be found at http://republicansonnotice.tumblr.com/ and EMILY’s List will be communicating about those on the list to its network of over three million members nationwide. “On Notice” will continue to be updated throughout the election cycle and will feature incumbents at all levels of government who have exhibited extreme anti-woman and anti-family positions through statements, policy, and voting records.

EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, has raised over $400 million to support pro-choice Democratic women candidates – making it one of the most successful political organizations ever. We recruit and train candidates, support strong campaigns, research women's issues, and turn out women voters. We've trained over 9,000 women to run and helped elect over 100 women to the House, 19 to the Senate, 11 governors, and over 700 to state and local office. Since its founding in 1985, almost one-third of the candidates EMILY’s List has helped elect to Congress have been women of color - including every single Latina, African American, and Asian American Democratic congresswoman currently serving.