Iowa Congressional reaction to ending government shutdown

The federal government reopened as of 9:23 pm Eastern time on January 25. Earlier in the day, President Donald Trump retreated from his demand that any spending bill include money for a wall along the U.S. southern border.

Why cave now? For weeks, media around the country have been reporting on the hardship faced by some 800,000 federal workers and at least 1 million contractors going without pay. Trump changed course largely for two reasons: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi denied him permission to deliver a State of the Union address while the government was shut down, and several major east coast airports experienced delays on January 25 due to air traffic controller staff shortages.

Shortly after Trump announced his new position, the U.S. House and Senate approved by voice votes a continuing resolution to fund the government for three weeks. Congressional leaders and White House representatives will attempt to work out some kind of immigration compromise by February 15. The deal includes an extension and reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which expired near the beginning of the shutdown.

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IA-04: Don't bet on Steve King losing his 2020 primary (updated)

U.S. Representative Steve King kicks off a series of public meetings this weekend with an event in O’Brien County. He hasn’t held this kind of town hall in a long time. The newfound commitment to showing up for constituents indicates that King was shaken up by his narrow victory over J.D. Scholten in November. He also faces growing discontent in Republican circles, both in Iowa (where he faces multiple primary challengers) and in Washington, D.C. (where he lost his House committee assignments).

Some commentators have speculated that residents of the fourth Congressional district are ready to move on to a representative with less baggage. For my money, the only way King won’t be the 2020 nominee is if GOP insiders somehow convince him not to seek a tenth term.

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IA-01: How would Ashley Hinson match up against Abby Finkenauer?

“I am considering my options and hope to make a decision in the next few weeks,” State Representative Ashley Hinson told WHO-TV’s Dave Price on January 18 regarding a possible campaign for Congress in 2020.

Since former state lawmaker Abby Finkenauer defeated U.S. Representative Rod Blum in November, insiders in both parties have speculated that Hinson could be the GOP’s best chance for winning back the first Congressional district. Both parties will certainly target this race, rated a toss-up by Sabato’s Crystal Ball and the Cook Political Report.

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Grassley, Ernst oppose keeping sanctions on Russian oligarch's companies

A resolution aimed at forcing the U.S. Treasury to maintain sanctions on three Russian corporations linked to a pro-Kremlin “oligarch” fell three votes short in the U.S. Senate on January 16.

Eleven Republicans joined the Democrats present to support the resolution, but Iowa’s Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst voted with the rest of the GOP caucus to defeat the measure. Although the vote was 57-42 in favor (roll call), Senate rules require 60 votes to clear this kind of procedural hurdle.

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Warning: Language spoilers

The new Congress is less than a week old, the new Iowa caucuses season is barely a week old, and doubtless we have many political thrills, spills and inanities ahead of us. But it doesn’t seem too early to offer some advice to our crop of newly elected Democrats in Congress and those with their hands on the presidential hats they are about to toss into the ring.

I say this while speaking from a high level of discourse, taking the high road and coming across as an adult, which most Americans say the person with the nuclear button should be. OK:

Please shut the fuck up.

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