Senate Democrats denied a second attempt by Senate Republicans to work in a bipartisan manner to bring common ground legislation to the floor for debate.
Senate Republican Leader Bill Dix (R-Shell Rock) proposed the bipartisan solution last week in the Senate Rules Committee which would allow Republicans and Democrats to work in the best interests of all Iowans. The measure would grant a constitutional majority in the Iowa Senate to bring bills out of committee and to the Senate floor for debate. The proposed amendment to the Senate Rules failed on a party-line vote. Senator Dix made a second attempt Wednesday during the first debate of the 2015 session. It again failed on a party-line vote.
Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal said the Senate continues to operate under the same rules in effect when Republicans held majority control.
After the amendment failed, Sen. Roby Smith (R-Davenport) said “Senator Gronstal was not accurate and continues to mislead Iowans. Senate Democrats have drastically changed the rules as the majority party, denying the voices of all Iowans to be heard.”
“Reasonable and rational thinking people realized the merits of what has been discussed here today,” Dix said. “Fairness is important to Iowans. One person standing in the way of fairness flies in the face of what Iowans believe.”
“The heart of this amendment is about the will of the people, not one person,” he added. “These rules do not represent the values of Iowans. These are not bipartisan rules. These are not rules in which Iowans can depend on to receive a fair hearing.”
“Senate Republicans took Senate Majority Leader Gronstal at his word on the opening day of the session when he stressed the importance of putting our citizens ahead of partisan politics,” Dix concluded. “Iowans know words matter, but at the end of the day our actions speak louder than words. The actions of Senate Democrats failed Iowans who are struggling and depending on us to govern with their best interests in mind.”