Holden Wades Into Contraception Debate While Opponents Build Campaign Infrastructure
The Department of Health and Human services was trying to pursue a regulation that would have required religious institutions, along with all other employers, to pay for their employees to buy contraception as part of the new healthcare law.
Religious groups protested saying the federal government was forcing them to take an action that was in direct contradiction of their principles.
Ultimately, President Obama ordered HHS to carve religious institutions out of the regulation.
At the time, Congressman Holden commented on the initial decision by HHS. Some believe that Holden was responding to political pressure.
“We do not believe the process by which this decision was reached took into account the full extent of Catholic health and social services,” Holden said in an article for The Standard Speaker. Holden is a Roman Catholic.
While there are other new rules and regulations outlined in the bill, most media attention has been given to the would-be narrowing of religious exemptions. In fact, the bill has drawn so much attention on a national scale, that seven states have sued the federal government with the intention of blocking this legislation.
In the same Standard Speaker story Holden addresses the exemption. “I have no idea. I could only speculate,” he said. “I don’t think they counted on the number of people raging against it.”
Holden’s challenger in the Democratic primary is Matt Cartwright. He has been campaigning in the newly drawn district. Holden has an edge going into the upcoming Democratic primary. Cartwright has little political experience, he has never held elected office.
Financially, Holden has $337,274.14 on hand. Because, Carwright declared his candidacy in the 4th quarter of 2011, he has not filed an FEC report.
The republican in the race is Laureen Cummings. She is the leader of the Scranton tea party movement. She initially ran in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate but dropped out of the race and is now focusing on the Congressional campaign. She does not currently have a website and has not filed paperwork with the FEC but is currently listed on the ballot according to the Dept. of State. She does not need to file FEC paperwork until the end of the first quarter in 2012.