Ex-Gov. Terry Branstad (R) said 8/31 that voters should return him to office because the leadership under Gov. Chet Culver (D) has been ineffectual. Branstad “pointed to” the problems that have plagued several state depts., including the IA Film Office and IA Department of Aging. Branstad said he’d select dept. heads based on expertise rather than political connections. Branstad: “You’ve got a culture of corruption that needs to be corrected, you really do.”
Culver spokesperson Ali Glisson “disputed” the charge. Glisson: “Every time there has been some sort of issue in the governor’s office, Gov. Culver has been decisive and he’s taken swift action to put mechanisms in place to make sure it wouldn’t happen again. He’s dug into the situation to figure out what caused the situation and why” (Hayworth, Sioux City Journal, 9/1).
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Branstad says the AG Tom Miller (D) bears some responsibility for the massive egg recall which has created a “black eye” for IA’s poultry industry, while Miller says Branstad has his facts wrong.
Branstad “blasted” Miller on 8/31. Branstad: “The present attorney general basically let Jack DeCoster off the hook. The whole state of Iowa is getting a black eye for that guy, habitual violator. We were on course to have him put out of business before I left office and then they cut a deal with him.” Miller: “Former Governor Branstad is totally mistaken about the law in Iowa concerning feedlots and habitual violators” (Henderson, Radio Iowa, 8/31).
State Sen. Rob Hogg (D), chair of the Senate Rebuild IA Cmte, said Branstad requested a ‘94 report in the aftermath of the state’s ‘93 flooding disaster, but then he and his admin. took “no action” on recommendations designed to reduce vulnerability to future floods and help communities mitigate future flood damage.
Branstad spokesperson Tim Albrecht called it “sad and pathetic” that “Culver and his cronies” are attempting to politicize the flood, noting that about 33% of the state and federal funds allocated for disaster victims in eastern Iowa has reached the intended target (Boshart, Mason City Globe Gazette, 8/31).
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"Even if House Republicans manage to get enough members of their party on board with the latest version of their health care bill, they will face another battle in the Senate: whether the bill complies with the chamber’s arcane ... Byrd rule, which stipulates all provisions in a reconciliation bill must affect federal spending and revenues in a way that is not merely incidental." Democrats should have the advantage in that fight, "unless the Senate pulls another 'nuclear option.'”
The House has passed a one-week spending bill that will avert a government shutdown which was set to begin at midnight. Lawmakers now have an extra week to come to a longer agreement which is expected to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year in September. The legislation now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to pass before President Trump signs it.
President Trump’s portrayal of an effort to funnel more Medicaid dollars to Puerto Rico as a "bailout" is complicating negotiations over a continuing resolution on the budget. "House Democrats are now requiring such assistance as a condition for supporting the continuing resolution," a position that the GOP leadership is amenable to. "But Mr. Trump’s apparent skepticism aligns him with conservative House Republicans inclined to view its request as a bailout, leaving the deal a narrow path to passage in Congress."
Democrats in the House are threatening to shut down the government if Republicans expedite a vote on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, said Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer Thursday. Lawmakers have introduced a one-week spending bill to give themselves an extra week to reach a long-term funding deal, which seemed poised to pass easily. However, the White House is pressuring House Republicans to take a vote on their Obamacare replacement Friday to give Trump a legislative victory, though it is still not clear that they have the necessary votes to pass the health care bill. This could go down to the wire.