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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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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IA-04: Randy Feenstra to challenge Steve King; Rick Sanders thinking about it

Nine-term U.S. Representative Steve King will face at least one challenger in the 2020 Republican primary to represent Iowa’s fourth Congressional district.

State Senator Randy Feenstra announced his candidacy today, and Story County Supervisor Rick Sanders confirmed to Bleeding Heartland that he is seriously considering the race.

The moves are the clearest sign yet that Iowa’s GOP establishment is tired of King.

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IA-04: Randy Feenstra to challenge Steve King; Rick Sanders thinking about it

Nine-term U.S. Representative Steve King will face at least one challenger in the 2020 Republican primary to represent Iowa’s fourth Congressional district.

State Senator Randy Feenstra announced his candidacy today, and Story County Supervisor Rick Sanders confirmed to Bleeding Heartland that he is seriously considering the race.

The moves are the clearest sign yet that Iowa’s GOP establishment is tired of King.

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The 18 most-viewed Bleeding Heartland posts of 2018

Sometimes I feel nostalgic for my “past life” covering Russian politics. Social media didn’t exist, and my colleagues and I had no information about which articles most interested our readers. Potential for clicks or shares didn’t factor into our story selection. We wrote up what seemed important to us.

On any given day, a half-dozen or more newsworthy Iowa politics stories present themselves, but I only have the capacity to cover one or two. I look for ways to add value: can I highlight events not covered elsewhere? Can I offer a different perspective or more context on the story everyone’s talking about?

Although chasing traffic will never be my primary goal, doing this for more than a decade has given me a decent sense of which topics will strike a chord with readers. But you never really know. Just like last year and the year before that, surprises lurked in the traffic numbers on Bleeding Heartland posts published during 2018 (353 written by me, 202 by other authors).

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