WASHINGTON — In the dead of night on Saturday, Iowa Republicans rushed through votes to add anti-abortion and voter suppression measures to the state budget in a partisan move to strip rights from their constituents. The GOP passed a discriminatory voter ID initiative, cut the state’s election budget, and voted to impose a mandatory 24-hour waiting period for Iowans seeking abortions.
“This is a blatant power grab in a desperate attempt to maintain a vulnerable GOP majority in the state,” said Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee President Jessica Post. “The GOP is terrified of high voter turnout and doing everything they can to prevent Iowans from voting. Iowa Republicans are passing bad bills in the middle of the night because they’re desperate for voters to overlook their extremist agenda — I’m confident Iowans will hold them accountable in November.”
Republicans also voted to cut millions of dollars in public university funding from the budget during this midnight session. Iowa’s universities have already been struggling due to the global health crisis, and the GOP’s decision to slash their state funding will result in an increase in college tuition and a heavier burden on students and their families.
Instead of using the remaining time to support health care infrastructure during a pandemic, increase the lacking education budget, or make it easier to vote, the state GOP voted over and over again to take away Iowans’ rights and limit their individual freedoms.
The Iowa House is a top target in the DLCC’s $50 million Flip Everything campaign to win legislative majorities across the country. Since Trump’s election, the DLCC and state Democrats have flipped more than 450 seats and 10 legislative chambers from red to blue.