Robin Opsahl

Robin Opsahl

Robin Opsahl is an Iowa Capital Dispatch reporter covering the state Legislature and politics. They have experience covering government, elections and more at media organizations including Roll Call, the Sacramento Bee and the Wausau Daily Herald.

Grassley says calls to defund the FBI are ‘stupid’

By: - September 15, 2023

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley said Friday that Republican calls to shut down and defund the FBI were “stupid,” though he shared concerns about “political bias” in the agency. Many Republicans, including U.S. Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Matt Gaetz of Florida and 2024 presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, have rallied against the FBI and U.S. […]

Same-day voter registration for Iowa caucuses remains – for now

By: - September 15, 2023

The ability of many Iowa voters to participate in the state’s influential 2024 presidential nominating contest, the Iowa caucuses, may come down to a matter of timing. Iowa political parties now have the power to set new voter registration requirements for caucus participation. However, Iowa Republicans are unlikely to make changes before the 2024 caucus […]

Democrats extend deadline for New Hampshire to comply with new nominating calendar

By: - September 14, 2023

A Democratic National Committee panel on Thursday gave New Hampshire another month to submit a primary plan that complies with the party’s new 2024 nominating calendar. The DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee met in Washington, D.C., to consider states’ primary and caucus plans and review delegate selection plans that were due in June. The plans […]

Iowa lawmakers praise Speaker McCarthy for opening Biden impeachment inquiry

By: - September 13, 2023

Iowa’s U.S. House delegation is supporting Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s move forward with an impeachment investigation into President Joe Biden. McCarthy announced Tuesday that he directed several committees to open a formal inquiry into unproven allegations that Biden profited from his son Hunter Biden’s business dealings while serving as vice president under former President Barack Obama. […]

Trump, holding wide lead in latest caucus poll, returns to Iowa Saturday

By: - September 9, 2023

Former President Donald Trump was headed Saturday to Iowa, where a new poll shows no other candidates have neared his large lead among likely GOP caucusgoers. Trump was scheduled to make an appearance this afternoon at Iowa State University in Ames, where tens of thousands are gathered for the Iowa-Iowa State football game. He rallied […]

Iowa GOP Chair Jeff Kaufmann says concerns remain about Iowa Democrats’ caucus plan

By: - September 8, 2023

Republican Party of Iowa chair Jeff Kaufmann said the GOP caucus date of Jan. 15, 2024 is “etched in stone,” but concerns remained about whether Iowa Democrats’ new caucus process could affect the state’s first-in-the-nation position. Kaufmann and Steve Scheffler, a Republican National Committee member and Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition president, spoke to reporters […]

Iowa Republican senators support blocking Biden student loan repayment program

By: - September 7, 2023

Iowa’s U.S. Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst are calling to overturn the Biden administration’s income-based plan to cut student loan debt payments, which is set to begin next month. President Joe Biden’s administration announced the Saving on A Valuable Education (SAVE) plan in August, months after the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the White House’s […]

Critics say proposals to merge, purge state boards could put Iowans at risk

By: - September 6, 2023

Recommendations to cut or merge more than 100 of the state’s boards and commissions could put Iowans’ health and safety at risk, professionals, advocates and board members said Wednesday during a public hearing. People waiting for a turn to speak at the Boards and Commissions Review Committee meeting spilled out into the hall at the […]

Proposal to eliminate Volunteer Iowa commission could result in $14 million loss of federal funds

By: - September 5, 2023

A state panel’s proposal to eliminate Iowa’s Commission on Volunteer Service could put more than $14 million in federal funding at risk, advocates said. The Boards and Commissions Review Committee laid out preliminary recommendations in an August meeting to consolidate Iowa’s 256 existing boards and commissions. The action is part of Gov. Kim Reynolds’ state government […]

Federal officials: Iowa child labor law conflicts with national restrictions on dangerous workplaces

By: - September 1, 2023

Iowa’s new child labor law conflicts with federal regulations by easing some restrictions on teenagers working in potentially dangerous conditions, the U.S. Department of Labor wrote in a letter to Democratic lawmakers. Solicitor of Labor Seema Nanda and Wage and Hour Division Principal Deputy Administrator Jessica Looman replied to questions sent by Iowa Democrats in […]

Sen. Tim Scott says 15-week abortion ban could be winning ‘compromise’

By: - August 31, 2023

OSKALOOSA — Republican presidential candidate Tim Scott, campaigning in Iowa Thursday, said a federal 15-week abortion ban would make abortion a “much less political issue.” Roughly 80 people gathered at the Iowa State University Extension in Oskaloosa to hear from the South Carolina senator and ask him about issues from federal spending to U.S. foreign […]

Iowa student test scores hold steady as achievement gaps continue

By: - August 30, 2023

Iowa students’ proficiencies in math, reading and science did not change significantly in 2023 compared to last year, according to the most recent Iowa Department of Education report. The department published results Tuesday from the 2023 Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress (ISASP), an annual test for students grades 3-11. Most grades saw relatively small […]