The final battle of the 2022 Iowa Legislative session appears to be coming to a close. And the winners are:
The Teachers’ Union
The Public Education Lobby
Iowa House Moderate Republicans
Iowa parents and families
Iowa Republicans who think they’re voting for Republicans to serve in the Iowa House
From what I have heard, there will be no vote on Education Savings Accounts — again — in 2022 due to the Iowa House not having the votes for the proposal. This is the second year in a row Republicans in the Iowa House have opposed giving Iowa families and parents greater choice in education.
I have come to the realization that it isn’t fair to blame only the moderate Republicans in the House for the failure to provide additional educational freedom to Iowa families. No, this failure falls at the feet of House Republican leadership and any House Republican who currently supports the leadership.
If it is all of them, well, then I guess it is all of them. But I know there are a handful of good ones.
The reality of the situation is it is really easy to be a moderate and be against basic Republican Party platform beliefs when you never have to put your name behind the opposition.
And with the current Iowa House Republican leadership, you’re afforded protection. You matter much more to the Iowa House Republican leadership than the issues matter to Iowa House Republican leadership.
At some point, it would be really nice if Iowans were allowed to just see, on the record, which Republicans support Republican ideals and which Republicans don’t. And then let it be. Allow us to know which Republicans are for us and which are against us, because right now, it seems like almost all of them are.
Especially if they return in 2023 and make no changes to leadership or how business gets done — or doesn’t get done.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Senate have tried the last two years to give Iowa families additional educational freedom. But the Iowa House — with 59 Republicans in the majority — refuses to budge. The Iowa House Republicans refuse to put parents first. They refuse to send a message that parents matter.
And it is extremely frustrating. It’s a battle we shouldn’t have to wage with 59 Republicans in the Iowa House. It’s a disappointment we shouldn’t have to stomach with 59 Republicans in the Iowa House.
Just bring the bill to the floor for a vote. Let it fail. But make the no’s put their names behind their no votes. Let the people know.
Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. I mean, we know Jane Bloomingdale was one of the Republicans responsible for killing the abortion neutrality amendment in 2020 because she voted against it in 2021. And she voted against the Heartbeat Bill before that.
But despite her anti-life record, she’s still getting endorsements from Iowa House Republicans.
We know others like Dave Maxwell and Lee Hein are anti-life and anti-ESAs, yet we don’t see a whole slew of Iowa House Republican conservatives siding with their opponents.
What must that mean about the state of conservatism in the Iowa House?
I think we know what it means. I just don’t think we’re going to like it.
But after seeing bills related to removing gender identity from the civil rights code, addressing Big Tech censorship, protecting unborn babies and expanding school choice all die in the Iowa House, maybe we should wake up to the reality — no matter how rude it is.
We can keep dreaming about a conservative Iowa House Republican majority all we want. But right now it’s just a dream.
And the reality we’re living in is more of a nightmare where conservative Iowans are told to settle, learn to compromise, be happy with the crumbs they’re given.
Medical freedom and privacy — forget about it. You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.
Well, it’s time for conservative Iowans to start throwing a fit. Iowa House Republicans must be reminded they work for us — not each other. Their job is to advance a conservative agenda that benefits of all Iowa, not provide protection and shelter for Republicans who refuse to advance the conservative cause.
Perhaps we never knew so many bad Republicans occupied seats in the Iowa House. But now we know. So what are we willing to do about it?
Unfortunately, they only respond to two things — money and votes. And the donor class’s money is worth more to them than the voter class’s votes.
It’s time for conservatives to think long and hard about withholding both.