House approves Farm Bill with food assistance cuts: How the Iowans voted

The U.S. House approved a five-year farm bill on June 21 by 213 votes to 211, with support from Iowa GOP Representatives Rod Blum (IA-01), David Young (IA-03), and Steve King (IA-04). Every Democrat present, including Representative Dave Loebsack (IA-02), voted against the bill, as did 20 Republicans (roll call).

A conservative bloc had voted down the same legislation in May, seeking to force House Speaker Paul Ryan to schedule a vote on an immigration bill drafted by Robert Goodlatte. The tactic worked, in the sense that House leaders brought Goodlatte’s bill to the floor shortly before the farm bill. However, the immigration measure lacked the votes to pass the chamber.

According to Politico’s Catherine Boudreau, the legislation was “the first farm bill to pass either chamber with only one-party support,” because “Democrats revolted over its proposed changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, more commonly known as food stamps.”

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Hardline House immigration bill fails: How the Iowans voted

U.S. House members rejected by 231 votes to 193 one of two immigration bills leaders had planned to bring to the floor on June 21. Judiciary Committee Chair Robert Goodlatte’s legislation “had not been expected to pass, but conservatives had sought a vote on it anyway,” Thomas Kaplan and Nicholas Fandos reported for the New York Times.

The Goodlatte bill would have sharply reduced legal immigration while beefing up border security, cracking down on so-called sanctuary cities and requiring employers to use a system called E-Verify to confirm that they are hiring legal workers. It would have offered a three-year renewable legal status to DACA recipients.

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Iowa political reaction to Trump's family separation policy

Editor’s note: Des Moines Democratic activist Robert Niederklopfer drew the cartoon posted above.

The crisis of some 2,300 children separated from their parents after crossing the southern border of the U.S. reached a tipping point this week. The “zero-tolerance policy” is two months old, but new images of kids locked in cages and heartbreaking sounds of children crying for their parents outraged millions of Americans.

A new national poll suggests voters oppose taking children away from their parents by a two to one margin. Thousands have called their members of Congress to demand action. Former acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement during the Obama administration John Sandweg has warned that many of the separations will end up becoming permanent. Several “tender age” shelters are housing very young children, some unable to talk or remember their parents’ names.

I enclose below comments from leading Iowa politicians on the issue. Most predate the executive order Trump signed today, which will do nothing for families already separated and may not help new arrivals either.

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The case for each Democrat running for Congress in IA-03

With less than three weeks remaining before the June 5 primary, many Democrats (including myself) are still undecided in the primary to represent Iowa’s third Congressional district. All three candidates left standing in the once-crowded field have raised enough money to run strong, district-wide campaigns.

This post focuses on how Cindy Axne, Pete D’Alessandro, and Eddie Mauro have presented themselves in stump speeches, direct mail, and television commercials aimed at Democratic voters.

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IA-03: Every Democrat has the resources to compete (updated)

The Democratic campaign in Iowa’s third Congressional district is unlike any three-way race I can recall here. All of the candidates have raised enough money to get their message to voters district-wide before the June 5 primary. Disappointed activists won’t be able to claim later that their favorite could have won the nomination if only s/he hadn’t been drowned out by a better-funded front-runner.

Meanwhile, two-term Republican Representative David Young continues to amass a huge war chest, mostly thanks to a small army of corporate political action committees.

Highlights from the latest round of Federal Election Commission reports are after the jump.

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