Iowa Republicans complicit in Trump's fake national emergency

“Whatever a national emergency may be, that’s not it,” tweeted experienced Supreme Court litigator Neal Katyal, after President Donald Trump admitted during his February 15 press conference, “I didn’t need to do this. But I’d rather do it much faster.”

The courts may stop Trump from using funds appropriated for other purposes to have the military build a wall along the southern border, which Congress has repeatedly declined to authorize. But the president’s warlord-like behavior can still do lasting harm to democratic institutions.

Iowa Republicans in Congress are either unconcerned about this “reckless disregard for the separation of powers” or cheering it on.

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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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The case for a Democratic message of fiscal sustainability

Clive native T.J. Foley is a Harvard College undergraduate. -promoted by Laura Belin

As shutdowns abound and federal workers around the country continue to celebrate the holidays without their paychecks, the fiscal practices of our state and federal government continue to destabilize economic outlook. Day after day, elected officials in Washington bicker about spending cuts and public expenditures with no end in sight, all from the supposed guardians of fiscal responsibility.

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History made in U.S. House: How the Iowans voted

Democratic Representatives Abby Finkenauer (IA-01) and Cindy Axne (IA-03) joined a long list of “firsts” when they were sworn in on January 3. Iowa had never elected a woman to the U.S. House before 2018, but now women make up half of our state’s delegation. The “most diverse Congress in history” includes record numbers of women and members of religious, racial, ethnic, or LGBTQ groups that have not previously represented their states in Washington. Finkenauer also became the second-youngest woman to serve in Congress, after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.

The first votes in the 116th Congress involved some drama within the Democratic caucus, but Iowans did not rock the boat.

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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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