House Republicans Re-Elect Leaders but Wait to Reveal Agenda

Nov 16, 2016

Republicans in the Iowa House have voted to re-install the leaders who oversaw last week’s GOP success at the ballot box.

Republicans now enjoy at a 59 seat majority in the House after defeating two Democratic incumbents last week.

We're still deciphering some of the message

Meeting in private on Wednesday, they re-elected Rep. Linda Upmeyer of Clear Lake as Speaker of the House and Rep. Chris Hagenow of Windsor Heights as majority leader.   He will direct the House debate calendar.

House Republicans will meet next month to discuss specifics on the agenda.

We’re still, maybe, deciphering some of the message,” Upmeyer said.   “There are lots of ideas and we'll see which ones actually gain traction."

In the past, the Republican-controlled House has passed bills to cut income taxes, but they were not taken up in the Democratic-controlled Senate. 

Republicans will now control the debate agenda in the senate for the next two years, including tax cuts.

"We're certainly going to study that topic," Upmeyer said.  "I don't know where we'll end yet."  

Upmeyer said she is unsure what the GOP agenda may be on state funding for schools. 

She's suggesting there will discussions about collective bargaining rights for unions that represent government workers, including teachers.

“We’ll see where that goes,” Upmeyer said.

In the past, the House approved bills to scale back collective bargaining rights, but the bills were not taken up in the Senate.

Other Republicans elected to leadership positions in the House include Rep. Matt Windschitl of Missouri Valley as speaker pro tempore, Zach Nunn of Bondurant as majority whip, and Megan Jones of Sioux Rapids, Jarad Klein of Keota, Mike Sexton of Rockwell City, and John Wills of Spirit Lake as assistant majority leaders.

House Democrats last week re-elected Rep. Mark Smith of Marshalltown as minority leader.