IOWA LEGISLATURE

Iowa Republicans announce House, Senate committee leadership roles

The ornamental decorations of the Iowa Capitol dome are seen from outside in Des Moines on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019. (And
The ornamental decorations of the Iowa Capitol dome are seen from outside in Des Moines on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)

DES MOINES — Republican leaders who hold majorities in the Iowa House and Senate for the next two years on Tuesday announced the list of legislators they have chosen to lead various committee when the 89th Iowa General Assembly convenes on Jan. 11.

House Speaker Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford, and Senate President Jack Whitver, R-Ankeny, issued their lists of committee chairmanships as both GOP caucuses begin to assemble their 2021 session priorities with Republicans holding a 59-41 edge in the Iowa House and 32-18 majority in the Iowa Senate, although Sen. Zach Nunn, R-Altoona, is slated to be on military duty throughout the 2021 legislative session.

“House Republicans are energized and ready to hit the ground running to address the priorities that they have heard from Iowans over the last several months,” Grassley said in a statement.

“Representing 97 of Iowa’s 99 counties, House Republicans have heard a clear message from Iowans in every corner of our state: They want us to reignite our economy, help folks get back to work and school safely, and return to normalcy is quickly as possible,” he said. “This hardworking group of talented legislators are uniquely equipped to spearhead our efforts and do just that.”

Grassley said he expected House Republicans would continue their conservative fiscal approach while looking for ways to reduce taxes on working families, bolster education and “make sure that Iowans are able to access and afford critical health services no matter where they live.”

Whitver did not issue any comments with his announcement of committee assignments but has previously indicated that cutting taxes, maintaining fiscal discipline, and funding priorities like education and health care would be at the top of the Senate GOP agenda being formulated.

On the House side, Rep. Lee Hein, R-Monticello, will continue to chair the Ways and Means Committee, and Rep. Gary Mohr, R-Bettendorf, will continue to lead the Appropriations Committee. In the Senate, Sen. Dan Dawson, R-Council Bluffs, will replace Sen. Jake Chapman, R-Adel, as chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, and Rep. Tim Kraayenbrink, R-Fort Dodge, will replace retiring Sen. Michael Breitbach, R-Strawberry Point, as Senate Appropriations Committee chairman.

Chapman will serve in a new position as Senate president when the 2021 session opens next month.

Other key standing committee chairmanship assignments include:

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Education: Rep. Dustin Hite, R-New Sharon, Sen. Amy Sinclair, R-Allerton

Human resources: Rep. Ann Meyer, R-Fort Dodge, Sen. Jeff Edler, R-State Center

Judiciary: Rep. Steve Holt, R-Denison, Sen. Brad Zaun, R-Urbandale

State government, Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, R-Wilton, Sen. Roby Smith, R-Davenport

Transportation, Rep. Brian Best, R-Glidden, Sen. Waylon Brown, R-Osage

Agriculture, Rep. Ross Paustian, R-Walcott, Sen. Dan Zumbach, R-Ryan

Natural resources: Rep. Rob Bacon, R-Slater, Sen. Annette Sweeney, R-Alden

One change of note in the House, majority Republicans have established a new Information Technology Committee, chaired by Rep. Brian Lohse, R-Bondurant, that will focus on state technology infrastructure, cyber security and broadband issues.

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A list of the new committee chairmanship assignments for the Iowa Senate and the Iowa House can be found online at the iowasenaterepublicans.com/committee-members and iowahouserepublicans.com.

Comments: (515) 243-7220; rod.boshart@thegazette.com

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