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House Republicans Elect Leadership

House Republicans Elect Leadership

Upmeyer re-elected Speaker, Hagenow as Majority Leader

(DES MOINES) – Today, House Republicans elected new leadership to lead the caucus into the 2017 legislative session.

Rep. Linda Upmeyer (R-Clear Lake) was re-elected as Speaker of the House.  Upmeyer has served as Speaker of the House since 2015, and previously served as House Majority Leader from 2010-2015 and House Minority Whip from 2008-2010.  She was just elected to serve her seventh term in the Iowa House.  She served as a nurse practitioner at Mercy Medical Center for many years. Read more »

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House Republican Majority Grows to 59 Seats

House Republican Majority Grows to 59 Seats

(DES MOINES) – Following last night’s election results, Republicans in the Iowa House increased an already strong majority to 59 members.

Last night, Republicans increased their majority in the Iowa House by:

  • Defending all 48 Republican incumbent seats
  • Defending all 9 open seats that are currently held by Republican retirees
  • Picking up one seat held by a Democrat incumbent
  • Picking up one open seat that is currently held by a Democrat retiree

House Republicans will welcome 11 freshmen members when the 2017 legislative session convenes in January.

Speaker Linda Upmeyer (R-Clear Lake) issued the following statement in response to last night’s gains:

“I’m looking forward to working with Governor Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Reynolds along with our new partners in the Iowa Senate to move Iowa forward.  It’s clear that Iowa voters trust Republicans to keep their promises and deliver results on the issues that Iowans care about.”

 

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Hagenow Releases Information On EpiPen Cost Increases

Hagenow Releases Information on EpiPen Cost Increases

(DES MOINES) – House Majority Leader Chris Hagenow (R-Windsor Heights) today released information received from the Department of Human Services (DHS) regarding the rising cost of EpiPens in the Medicaid program.

According to the data provided by DHS, the average cost per EpiPen prescription has increased from $161.35 in FY12 to $453.61 in FY 2016, an increase of 181%.  The total cost for EpiPens to the state has more than tripled, growing from $566,000 in FY12 to $2.1 million through the first nine months of FY 2016.  If the current pace continues, the total cost to the state will reach nearly $2.8 million by the end of FY16.

“It’s clear from this report that Iowa has seen a substantial increase in the cost of the EpiPen to the Medicaid program.  Iowa families have likely seen even larger increases because, unlike the state, they don’t have the luxury of getting a rebate from the federal government,” said Hagenow.  “Like many Iowans, I’m suspicious of the dramatic rise in cost for EpiPens.  I’ll continue asking questions to protect families and taxpayers.

I spoke with Attorney General Miller on this matter and he said his office is also looking into this.  I look forward to working together with the Attorney General’s office to find answers for Iowa taxpayers during the next legislative session.”

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Vander Linden Named House Ways and Means Chairman

(DES MOINES) – Today, House Speaker Linda Upmeyer (R-Clear Lake) named Rep. Guy Vander Linden (R-Oskaloosa) as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.  Vander Linden will replace Rep. Tom Sands, who announced in June that he would not seek re-election this fall.

“Over the last six years, House Republicans have championed efforts to leave more money in the pockets of the hardworking taxpayers of Iowa,” said Vander Linden.  “In this new role, I will continue to put the taxpayers first by recognizing that tax dollars don’t belong to the government, but to the state’s families and businesses.  I look forward to finding more ways to reduce the tax burden on Iowa’s taxpayers. Read more »

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News Release: Nunn to Deploy on Active Duty

Nunn to Deploy on Active Duty

(BONDURANT) – Today, State Representative Zach Nunn (R-Bondurant) announced he will be serving a military deployment in support of U.S. military operations beginning June 2016 through September 2016.  This will be Nunn’s fourth active duty deployment.

Nunn serves as a Major with the Iowa Air National Guard’s 132nd Wing in Des Moines.  He was previously on active duty with the U.S. Air Force amassing 700-combat flight hours during three deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.  During a prior deployment, he was awarded “Best Aircrew” in the Air Force for life-saving air support to U.S. special operations troops under heavy enemy fire.

Nunn was specifically requested by the Department of Defense based on his unique background as a Director of Cybersecurity on the National Security Council and as a National Counterintelligence Officer.

“Serving my country, state and community is an honor.  My family and friends are overwhelmingly supportive and we are grateful,” said Nunn.  “During my time overseas, I will continue to engage with constituents through regular email updates and continuing to provide excellent constituent service to our community members.  Upon my return, I will remain committed to working for Iowan’s in the Statehouse. ”

Nunn, an Assistant House Majority Leader, is serving his first term in the Iowa House.  He and his wife, Kelly, have three children and live in Bondurant.

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Speaker Upmeyer’s Closing Remarks

(DES MOINES) – Speaker of the House Linda Upmeyer (R-Clear Lake) delivered closing remarks on the 2016 session to the Iowa House of Representatives today.  The following are her remarks, as prepared for delivery:

Ladies and Gentlemen of the House, thank you.  Thank you for your time, patience and service.

A very special thanks to the 12 retirees this year.  As you leave the Capitol today, please know all of us appreciate your commitment to Iowans in your district.

Thank you to the House Republican Leadership team: Matt, Joel, Walt, Jarad, John and Zach – you serve our caucus well and I appreciate the help each of provide.

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Majority Leader Hagenow’s Closing Remarks

(DES MOINES) – House Majority Leader Chris Hagenow (R-Windsor Heights) delivered closing remarks on the 2016 session to the Iowa House of Representatives today.  The following are his remarks, as prepared for delivery:

Thank you Madam Speaker.

We began this legislative session with high ambitions. Ambitions to meet the priority needs of Iowans by passing a balanced budget, giving K-12 schools funds they could count on, and working towards policies that lead to greater economic prosperity in our great state.

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House and Senate Reach Agreement on Key Issues

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(DES MOINES) — Today, House Republicans announced agreements on key issues before the Legislature.

“This agreement provides certainty to thousands of Iowa taxpayers and ensures that Iowans are not faced with an unexpected tax increase,” said House Speaker Linda Upmeyer (R-Clear Lake).  “At the end the day, the taxpayers are the real winners with this agreement.”

The agreement has led to the creation of House Study Bill 642, which includes provisions related to coupling as well as consumables.

House Study Bill 642 includes House File 2092, the tax coupling bill, which prevents a $95 million tax increase on Iowans.  Coupling with the federal tax code benefitted more than 177,000 taxpayers in 2014 including small businesses, farmers, teachers, homeowners, and college students.

House Study Bill 642 also includes provisions to codify the sales tax exemption for supplies used in manufacturing, which passed the House in 2014.  For too long, ambiguity in the code led to inconsistent interpretations by the Department of Revenue based on the state’s revenue needs.  By codifying this exemption, manufacturers are given a clear and consistent definition of what is subject to sales tax.

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Representative Pat Grassley Issues Statement on Revenue Estimating Conference

(DES MOINES) – Today, Rep. Pat Grassley (R-New Hartford) issued the following statement regarding the December Revenue Estimating Conference meeting:

“The revenue picture is now clear.  Revenue for the next fiscal year is $7.327 billion, an increase of $153.1 million compared to last year.

It’s good news that Iowa’s economy continues to grow, however, it is doing so at a slower pace than people would like.  While this budget will be difficult, House Republicans are up to the challenge.  We will continue to budget like Iowa families and businesses by not spending more than the state collects and not using one-time money to fund ongoing needs.  House Republicans are committed to funding Iowan’s priorities in a responsible manner.”

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Speaker Select Upmeyer Issues Statement on Syrian Refugees

(DES MOINES) – Today Speaker Select Linda Upmeyer (R-Clear Lake) issued the following statement regarding Governor Branstad’s actions to suspend the relocation of Syrian refugees in Iowa:

“Iowa has a rich tradition of compassion and welcoming refugees from across the globe, but we must ensure that the safety and security of Iowans are put first,” said Speaker-select Upmeyer.  “I want to thank Governor Branstad for his swift action to suspend the placement of Syrian refugees within the state until a thorough review of the vetting process can be completed.  We must keep the security interests of Iowans in mind; pausing until we have more confidence in our intelligence is the responsible approach.”

“I would encourage President Obama to strongly consider the requests of numerous Governors that have asked for a review of the nation’s current refugee policy.”

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