Speaker Upmeyer’s Weekly Newsletter


Energized and Enthusiastic

The caucuses and winter weather gave us a bit of a slow start to begin the week, but once everyone made it to Des Moines we got right back into the swing of things.  Committees and subcommittees met frequently this week on a variety of topics and continue to do their work.

The state seems a bit quieter now that the 2016 First in the Nation Iowa Caucuses have concluded.  All of the candidates, and the horde of media that follow them, have moved on to New Hampshire and South Carolina for the next steps in the Presidential nomination process.

Over 186,000 Iowa Republicans came out to caucus on a cold night with the threat of a blizzard on the horizon.  The number of Republicans coming out to vote shattered the previous turnout record of 121,000 set 2012, and each of the top three vote getters (Sen. Cruz, Mr. Trump and Sen. Rubio) surpassed Gov. Huckabee’s previous single candidate record of 40,000 votes.  Additionally, I have heard from numerous people that caucus locations were filled with newly registered Republicans and first-time caucus attendees.

Iowa Democrats had an equally impressive 171,000 people turn out to caucus on Monday night.  The razor thin margin of victory at the end of their contest was very exciting to watch unfold throughout the night and the next morning.  Although I don’t share the same values and political views as Democrats, the caucuses are a bipartisan part of Iowa’s history, and both parties had a great showing.

The amount of Republicans that turned out, combined with newly registered folks, is a clear sign to me that Iowans are ready for a change in Washington D.C.  After seven years of partisanship and gridlock in Washington, Republicans are energized and enthusiastic to get to work electing a new President.

The caucuses are a uniquely Iowa opportunity and it’s a privilege to kick off the Presidential nomination process every four years.  Iowans take this role very seriously and certainly take advantage of it.

Iowans should be proud of the way they turned out in record numbers.  We’ve talked with candidates for many months, asked many tough questions, and vetted each and every one of the candidates thoroughly.  We have shown the country that we’re worthy of our First in the Nation status and that the tradition should continue.

Now that the caucuses are done, more time and attention will be focused on the Legislature and our job at hand:  Working on behalf of Iowans to make the state a great place to live, work, raise a family, or run a business.  We have several priorities that need to be addressed as urgently as possible this session like education funding and federal tax code coupling, while also ensuring that the state’s budget is balanced within ongoing revenue.  I’m optimistic that we can reach a consensus on all of these issues in a timely matter.

As always, please keep in touch.  As legislation is moving forward, feel free to send me comments, questions, or feedback that you may have regarding issues before us in the House. I can be reached at linda.upmeyer@legis.iowa.gov or (515) 281-3521.