Government + Politics

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

Bipartisan senators and Biden strike a deal on $550B in new infrastructure spending

BY: - July 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of U.S. senators say they have worked through the sticking points on a major infrastructure package, and the Senate agreed on a procedural vote on Wednesday night to advance to debate on the proposal. That announcement came a week after Republicans blocked a test vote on the deal, with GOP senators […]

Iowa spent roughly $300K on state troopers’ trip to southern border

BY: - July 28, 2021

Nearly 30 Iowa State Patrol troopers have returned from a state-funded mission to the U.S.-Mexico border that cost an estimated $300,000, state officials announced Wednesday. A total of 28 officers — 12 road troopers, 12 tactical agents, a bilingual agent and three command leaders — volunteered to assist the Texas State Patrol with traffic stops, […]

State Sen. Liz Mathis to challenge U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson in 2022

BY: - July 27, 2021

Democratic State Sen. Liz Mathis announced Tuesday she will challenge U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson for the 1st District House seat in 2022. “It’s clear Iowans want leaders who care about fairness, honesty, and putting service ahead of politics. That is why I am running,” Mathis said in a tweet announcing her candidacy. Mathis was elected […]

‘There was no concern for my life’: Families losing homes despite federal eviction moratorium

BY: - July 27, 2021

WASHINGTON — The national moratorium on evictions, as well as rental assistance programs, weren’t enough protection to keep Katrina Chism and her family in their suburban Atlanta home when money got tight. Chism was laid off twice during the COVID-19 pandemic, and when she fell behind on rent, she faced an initial eviction notice. She was […]

Hundreds apply for parent-taught driver’s education under new law

BY: - July 26, 2021

Parent-taught driver’s education applications are skyrocketing in Iowa after a bill that expanded the option was enacted earlier this month. The Iowa Department of Transportation has seen an exponential increase in inquiries about parent-taught options and applications to begin driver’s education from home, said Driver Education Program Coordinator Steve Stonehocker. “Before the law changed, we […]

Democrats say vacant public health board is ‘failed leadership’

BY: - July 26, 2021

Democrats criticized state leadership Monday over an advisory health board that was left unable to operate because of vacant positions.  The Iowa State Board of Health canceled a July meeting because seven of its 11 positions were vacant. Two Democratic state senators, Herman Quirmbach of Ames and Liz Mathis of Marion, raised concerns about the […]

On ADA’s 31st anniversary, Biden recalls Harkin’s historic role

BY: - July 26, 2021

President Joe Biden on Monday recalled a hallmark moment in the career of former U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa.  At a White House ceremony marking the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which Harkin authored and sponsored, Biden described the moment just before the Senate passed the bipartisan bill. “On the floor of […]

Iowa businesses see delayed start to home alcohol delivery

BY: - July 23, 2021

Iowans might be waiting for to-go alcohol by delivery apps for a little while longer. The Iowa Legislature this year approved House File 766, a bill that creates more opportunities for third-party delivery of alcohol in Iowa. As of July 1,  retailers and grocery stores can use food delivery apps to deliver products to customers […]

D.C. Dispatch: Lawmakers vote together on Afghanistan visas and crime victims fund

BY: - July 23, 2021

Welcome to the D.C. Dispatch, your weekly news roundup of what Iowans are doing in the nation’s capital. This week, Iowa legislators aligned on bills to expand and expedite the visa process for allies in Afghanistan and to preserve the Crime Victims Fund. On the campaign side of things, all eyes were on U.S. Sen. […]

Stone-Manning nomination set to advance to U.S. Senate after emotions run high at committee vote

BY: - July 22, 2021

In a contentious meeting that distilled a weeks-long fight, the U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee deadlocked 10-10 along party lines Thursday on approving Tracy Stone-Manning’s nomination as head of the Bureau of Land Management. That means an extra procedural vote will be forced before the full U.S. Senate takes up the nomination of […]

Former Rep. Abby Finkenauer to challenge Sen. Chuck Grassley in 2022

BY: - July 22, 2021

Former U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer is running for Senate, she announced Thursday.  “I’m running for the United States Senate because this democracy is ours, and truth matters,” Finkenauer said in a video announcing her run. Finkenauer, a one-term representative for Iowa’s 1st congressional district, will run for U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley’s Senate seat in the […]

Des Moines, Polk County help more households with emergency rent than state-run program

BY: - July 22, 2021

The City of Des Moines and Polk County have assisted more households with emergency rental aid so far this year than a state-run program serving Iowa’s other 98 counties combined. The city and county have received more than 3,500 applications for the federally funded Emergency Rental Assistance program. According to data from the U.S. Department […]