Is Anybody There?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh Sabaoth" Zach 4:6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dio di Signore, nella Sua volontà è nostra pace!" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin 1759

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Iowa House Republicans Playing Hardball, Won't Be Played by Gronstal

When last we left the Iowa Legislature in mid-May the Senate had refused to have an honest vote on HF 657 that would keep late term abortionists like Carhart out of Iowa. (here & here) Instead, Senate Majority leader Gronstal handed off the responsibilty of creating a cover bill to Sen Joe Bolkcom. Bolkcom was the perfect one to come up with a bill that would make it look like they were doing something while doing nothing. Bolkcom's wife used to run the Emma Goldman abortion mill in Iowa City. Bolkcom came up with a bill (SF 534) that would make it look like Gronstal was keeping Carhart out of Coucil Bluffs while actually openning the door to welcome them elsewhere in the state.

Whatever happenned, the bill would provide political cover for Gronstal because he could pass any blame off on the Republicans. However, the House Republicans have decided not to roll over & let him get away with it. On Monday the House Ways & Means Committee reviewed SF 534. They sent out a report with recommended amendments before passage. Those amendments would basicly put back the ban on abortions after 20 weeks & cut the Senate added Certificate of Need process to require that “a new abortion facility which performs abortions after 20 weeks post-fertilization is in close proximity to an Iowa hospital, with the appropriate level of perinatal care to protect the life or health of the woman and the fetus.”

The amended bill is likely to pass & then be tossed back to the Senate. At that point what will happen this time remains to be seen. But whatever does happen, you can be sure that Gronstal will continue to try to cover his backside rather than do the right thing.

Meanwhile, the only reason the bill is still up for debate is because the Iowa Legislature is still in session due to gridlock over the budget. Under Iowa law for the 1st year of a General Assembly the legislators get paid for expenses for the 1st 110 calendar days of the session. That limit was placed there years ago to encourage the members to get their work done quickly. The 110th Day was on 29 April. & while they have occasionally gone over a few days, I cannot remember the last time a session went this long. Of course they won't admit it, but much of the problem with the gridlock can be laid at the feet of the Senate Democrats.

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