Government + Politics

How paid leave, a tax cut for the rich and more could get axed from Biden’s social policy bill

BY: and - November 26, 2021

WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats cheered on the floor of the U.S. House after approving President Joe Biden’s massive social spending and climate bill. But a major struggle lies ahead in the coming month in the U.S. Senate, where Democrats cannot lose any votes within their party if they are to send the so-called Build Back Better measure […]

Biden opens oil reserve to relieve high gas prices — but it won’t be immediate

BY: - November 23, 2021

As gasoline prices spiral ahead of the big holiday travel season, President Joe Biden on Tuesday authorized the release of a record 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve — complicating his administration’s goal to transition to cleaner energy sources. In prepared remarks, Biden said he coordinated the release from the reserve, a […]

Reynolds celebrates ‘getting back to normal’ with traditional turkey pardoning

BY: - November 23, 2021

Squash and Stuffing, two turkeys raised near Ellsworth, will not be on the menu for Thanksgiving Day. Gov. Kim Reynolds “pardoned” the two birds Tuesday as part of an annual tradition that also recognizes Iowa’s role as a major turkey producer. Iowa ranks seventh in U.S. turkey production with about 12 million birds raised a […]

Reynolds ‘confident’ U.S. Treasury will approve her use of COVID-19 aid for staff salaries

BY: - November 23, 2021

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said Tuesday she is “very, very confident” her use of nearly $450,000 in federal coronavirus relief funds for staff salaries will be approved by the U.S. Treasury. A state audit released Nov. 15 found that the governor’s office had not provided documentation necessary to show the employees were “substantially dedicated” to […]

COMMENTARY

Dispute over Reynolds’ use of COVID cash highlights budget shell game

BY: - November 22, 2021

Republicans work hard to sell the idea their party is the one that stands for fiscal responsibility. They are leaning heavily on that message on the federal level as Democrats approach a vote on the second of two multitrillion-dollar spending bills. Here in Iowa, Republicans in the Legislature have for decades espoused the principle of […]

Senate confirms first tribal member in history to lead National Park Service

BY: - November 20, 2021

The U.S. Senate has approved the nomination of Charles F. Sams III as the first confirmed National Park Service director since 2017. Sams, an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation near Pendleton, Ore., will be the first tribal member to lead the Park Service in the agency’s 105-year history. At his […]

D.C. Dispatch: Iowans work together on ag, health issues as Democrats pass spending bills

BY: - November 19, 2021

Welcome to the D.C. Dispatch. It was a busy week in Washington as Democrats advanced both of their major spending bills, breaking months-long stalemates. In the background, Iowa’s delegation was working on bipartisan bills on cattle price transparency and health care provider aid, and Republicans moved for a vote on overturning vaccine mandates. There will […]

American flag flying with U.S. Capitol in the background.

House Democrats pass Biden’s $1.85 trillion ‘Build Back Better’ plan

BY: , and - November 19, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Democrats united around a landmark $1.85 trillion social spending and climate bill on Friday, sending the major plank of President Joe Biden’s economic agenda to the Senate. Democratic leaders in the House heralded the 220-213 near party-line vote on the so-called Build Back Better bill, touting its provisions on child care, education, […]

Iowa movement opposing vaccine mandates grew during pandemic

BY: - November 19, 2021

Iowa’s years-long movement against vaccine mandates has grown significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, with several “medical freedom” groups gaining followers and political influence. Protests against mask mandates and vaccine requirements have become commonplace in Iowa in recent months, with ralliers gathering outside hospitals and in the Capitol rotunda. One of the primary organizers is Informed […]

Immigrants make last-ditch plea for deportation protections, work permits in Build Back Better

BY: - November 18, 2021

WASHINGTON — Undocumented workers and immigration advocates are pushing for Democrats to keep work permits and protections from deportations in the final version of the $1.85 trillion social spending and climate package that the U.S. House is set to vote on as soon as Thursday night. Those immigration provisions face elimination when the bill moves […]

U.S. House censures Rep. Paul Gosar, boots him from committees

BY: and - November 17, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House voted 223-207 Wednesday to censure Arizona Republican Rep. Paul Gosar and strip him of his committee assignments, following his social media post of a manipulated cartoon that depicted him attacking Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and President Joe Biden. Republican Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois voted […]

Federal judge sides with GOP states challenging limits on tax cuts in pandemic relief law

BY: - November 16, 2021

WASHINGTON — A federal judge in Alabama has ruled in favor of 13 Republican-led states — including Iowa, Florida, New Hampshire, Kansas and Montana — that sued the federal government over a section of a coronavirus relief bill that barred states from using relief money to offset tax cuts. The ruling, which granted a permanent […]