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November 17th, 2017 Posted In: News

As the state prepares for budget hearings, the Iowa Democratic Party reminds Iowans about their site, a resource to get the facts about Kim Reynolds’ budgetary mismanagement and misplaced priorities.

“Make no mistake, the Reynolds Budget Crisis is not just bad luck or, as Governor Reynolds says, a slow farm economy. It is the result of specific policy decisions made and promoted by Governor Reynolds to benefit wealthy businesses and special interests, and now, as we’ll see in the hearings today, Iowans are paying the price,” said Iowa Democratic Party Spokesperson Tess Seger.

As these hearings proceed, it is also important to note that Governor Reynolds’ decision to borrow $13 million from Iowa’s reserves to close out FY 17 is still under legal question.

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November 16th, 2017 Posted In: News

In light of several announcements and explanations from Senator Bill Dix this week concerning sexual harassment in the State Senate, the Iowa Democratic Party is throwing it back to when Governor Reynolds gave Dix her full support following the verdict in the Kirsten Anderson case, which she still has not withdrawn.

In the immediate aftermath of the original verdict that awarded $2.2 million taxpayer dollars to a former GOP Senate Staffer, Governor Reynolds said “I am appreciative in the steps that they are taking, and I have faith in Sen. Dix that he … has taken the necessary steps to make sure that is not going to be tolerated in the workplace.”

Since then, Senator Dix has failed to be transparent or effective in investigating sexual harassment claims in the Capitol, even drawing criticism from a conservative radio host for his handling of the situation. Dix even went as far as to try and downplay the seriousness of sexual harassment in the Capitol, saying it “happens all the time.”

The Iowa Democratic Party and others have called on Senator Dix to resign. We asked Governor Reynolds to join that effort. Again, Governor Reynolds has still not withdrawn her support.

Reynolds has also been called out for her lack of leadership and misplaced priorities in the handling of this case by many, including the victim herself.

“This case is a black mark on the moral character of our state, not to mention a waste of taxpayer dollars, and Governor Reynolds’ failure to lead has only made it worse.” said Iowa Democratic Party Spokesperson Tess Seger. “Governor Reynolds needs to put aside her party loyalty and demand robust accountability for sexual harassment in the Capitol, starting by expressing support for the victims and asking for Senator Dix’s resignation.”

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November 16th, 2017 Posted In: News

 House Republicans, including Rod Blum, David Young, and Steve King, voted today increase taxes on middle class families and provide massive giveaways to billionaires and wealthy corporations.  Currently, Senate Republicans are debating their tax plan in committee. The latest edition of their plan calls for permanent tax break for the richest, paid for by cutting health care and other programs Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and education that working Iowa families rely on every day.

Iowa taxpayers deserve a balanced tax reform plan that strengthens our workforce, and creates economic opportunities. But the Republican tax plan that Rod Blum, David Young, and Steve King voted for today is a bad deal for the working Iowans they claim to represent who will be will be worse off under this bill than if Congress had done nothing. It’s long-past time for Republicans to get serious about actual tax reform and join Democrats in building an economy that works for everyone.

Here’s a look at the impact of the Republican tax plan in Iowa:

  • The House Republican tax scam hurts teachers in Iowa, by repealing a tax credit for teachers who buy their own school supplies.
  • College students and their families in Iowa will have to deal with more expensive loans. Nearly 175,000 graduates in Iowa take advantage of the student loan interest deduction House Republicans want to eliminate, saving about $1,000 on average.
  •  Iowa’s seniors will find it harder to save for retirement or cover their medical bills.
  • In fact, the House GOP tax scam would take away all Iowans ability to deduct their medical expenses. Nearly 100,000 Iowa residents deducted their medical expenses in 2014, saving $11,542 on average.
  • The House Republican tax bill could also force $25 billion in automatic cuts to Medicare next year. Nearly 572,000 Iowans who rely on Medicare could be at risk.
  • Workers in Iowa would be hurt by the corporate tax giveaway. The Republican tax plan incentivizes large companies to move jobs overseas by giving them a 0% rate on most foreign profits. While big corporations take advantage of this loophole, small businesses on Main Street will find it harder to compete.
  • The GOP tax bill threatens to take the state and local tax deduction (SALT) away from tens of millions of households nationwide. The deduction ensures that Americans are not taxed twice on the same income. In Iowa, 320,000 residents would no longer be able to use the state and local deduction to save hard-earned money on their federal tax returns under the House tax bill.
  • The House Republican tax bill is a giant giveaway to wealthy corporations and rich Iowans, at the expense of everyone else:
    • The richest 1% of Iowa taxpayers will receive 39% of the tax cuts under the House Republican tax bill.
    • The richest 1% of Iowans will receive an average tax cut of $48,520, more than 143 times what the average middle-class family would get.
    • 21% of middle-income taxpayers in Iowa would even see their taxes go up, by $930 on average.
  • Distressed and rural communities could lose an important program that funds hundreds of hospitals, daycare facilities, alternative energy projects, and small businesses. The House GOP plan ends the New Market Tax Credits program, which has spurred over $601 million in community investments in Iowa and created over 3,300 full-time jobs since 2003.
  • Clean and renewable energy businesses looking to invest and build in Iowa would be at a disadvantage under the House tax plan. The bill would phase out popular tax credits for wind and solar energy that renewable and natural energy industries in Iowa rely on, making it more difficult for Iowa businesses to qualify for the construction tax credits.
  • Iowans recovering from a natural disaster, such as a flood, hurricane, tornado, or fire would be more vulnerable, because the House Republican tax bill eliminates a critical infrastructure financing measure designed to help states rebuild after sudden events.
  • The Senate Republican tax bill also benefits the wealthiest Iowa taxpayers, while hurting middle-class families in our state:
    • The new Republican tax plan would raise health care insurance premiums on middle-class families, while already raising taxes for many of them, all to pay for permanent corporate tax cuts that hurt our economy.
    • Senate Republicans are using their tax bill to sabotage our health care system by repealing the individual mandate – which would raise premiums by double-digits, cause insurers to withdraw from markets, and leave 13 million more Americans without health insurance.
    •  In addition to dismantling the health insurance markets, the Senate GOP tax plan would make permanent tax increases on middle class families. Millions of families with children will be worse off under this bill than if Congress had done nothing.
    • Like the House bill, the core of the Senate package is a giant tax cut for wealthy corporations, from 35 to 20 percent. While tax cuts for individuals are only temporary, the Senate’s corporate tax cuts are permanent, paid for by cutting health care and other programs middle-class Americans rely on.

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November 14th, 2017 Posted In: News

Today, following Senator Bill Dix’s refusal to release the findings of an internal investigation in to allegations of rampant sexual harassment in the State Capitol, the Iowa Democratic Party is calling for accountability.

“From the very beginning of this scandal nearly four years ago, Bill Dix has consistently blocked any attempt to find out more about the sexual harassment allegations in the GOP Senate Caucus, and refusing to release this report is only the latest in a long series of efforts to protect those who sexually harass co-workers over those who have been harassed.  Not only that, Dix’s complete mismanagement of the situation is costing taxpayers at least $1.75 million in the middle of a budget crisis. This is why we have long called for Bill Dix to step down. His lack of judgement and moral character disqualify him from being the Senate Leader,” said Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price.

“It is our hope that Kim Reynolds finally chooses to lead on this issue and joins those asking for Bill Dix to resign, just as her Republican Colleague in Kentucky did when similar allegations came forward in his GOP House Caucus. The fact is, the Republican Party is facing a moral crisis with the continued allegations of sexual misconduct here and around the country. It is time for GOP leaders in Iowa to decide what side of history they want to be on – the side of politics or the side of the people.”

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