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Iowa House Republicans and Senate Democrats at odds over state budget

Speaker of the Iowa House Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha) stood by House Republicans’ budget proposals Tuesday, after Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal (D-Council Bluffs) announced they would get the public involved to break the budget battle gridlock, claiming the Republicans “are not listening.”

“Democrats want to talk about stalemates and impasses, but I’m not using those words,” Paulsen told The Iowa Independent. “The concern here is, the House Republicans had already put together a thoughtful and reasonable budget. This was not a take-it-or-leave-it bill. We sat down with Democrats.”

Gronstal said Democrat lawmakers will be traveling the state to meet with constituents about budget issues, primarily where education and job creation is concerned. Paulsen appeared ambivalent to the idea, saying that “House Republicans have been doing that since day one.”

“We have a good idea what people want, and that is not government spending more than we take in,” he said.

Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Matt Strawn was also quick to react to Gronstal’s call, saying that it is “laughable” to believe that Senate Democrats can speak on budget issues with credibility.

“Senator Gronstal’s use of budget gimmickry created a $900 million dollar hole in state budget last year. In calling for a compromise, he is pushing for business as usual which Iowans rejected last November. Governor Branstad and Legislative Republicans are working on a transparent and common-sense budget and will not compromise our state’s fiscal future in order maintain Senate Democrats appetite for deficit spending. I encourage Iowans to call Senator Gronstal at 515-281-4610 and tell him to drop the gimmicks and to get serious about the state’s budget,” Strawn said.

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