Government

Iowa U.S. House Democrats support impeachment inquiry

Iowa GOP says Democrats trying to undo 2016 election

U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack introduces himself Oct. 8, 2018, at a candidate forum in Coralville. (The Gazette)
U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack introduces himself Oct. 8, 2018, at a candidate forum in Coralville. (The Gazette)
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Iowa’s three Democratic members of the U.S. House have joined a majority of House Democrats in calling for an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.

Iowa Republicans, however, blasted the decision as an attempt to overturn the 2016 election of the Republican president. They called on Democrats to focus their energy on issues like trade they said would improve Iowans’ lives.

After a meeting Tuesday of House Democrats, U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack, the 2nd District congressman who has said he will not run again, aligned himself with those calling for an impeachment inquiry.

“I have felt the need to proceed judiciously given the high constitutional requirements of impeachment, but President Trump’s actions and obstruction require this step of establishing an impeachment inquiry,” Loebsack said in a statement.

Third District Democratic Rep. Cindy Axne also moved from undecided to supporting an inquiry “for the sake of our national security and our democracy.”

“Congress has a responsibility to uphold the rule of law and to take appropriate steps to open an impeachment inquiry,” she said.

First District Rep. Abby Finkenauer called the impeachment inquiry necessary for “defending our democracy and Constitution.”

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“The impeachment inquiry requested today is needed to continue that work,” she said. “It’s imperative we stand up for our country and hold those accountable who hurt our democracy.”

Iowa Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Jeff Kaufmann was quick to blast House Democrats for playing politics.

Speaker “Nancy Pelosi and the delusional Democrats have made it very clear — they are hellbent on erasing the votes of millions of Americans and derailing President Trump’s reelection efforts,” he said.

Kaufmann asserted Axne and Finkenauer are the deciding votes in Pelosi’s plan to impeach.

“They will stop at nothing to overturn the will of their constituents who voted for and strongly support President Trump,” he said.

His counterpart, Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Troy Price, said Americans “deserve to know the truth and it is Congress’ job to get answers.”

Republicans, he said, “are proving once again that they care more about keeping personal favor with Donald Trump than upholding the standards of our democracy and protecting our national security.”

Iowa Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley called the Democrats’ action premature. Instead of waiting to read the transcript of Trump’s conversation with the Ukrainian president, “Democrats have moved straight to starting the impeachment process,” something they want “because they couldn’t accept the results of the 2016 election.”

The Democrats’ plan “reeks of hypocrisy,” Grassley said. “The attention on unverified reports instead of an on-record admission shows why Americans are so distrustful of politicians and the media.”

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Iowa Republican U.S. Sen Joni Ernst likewise said the move was meant to overturn an election Democrats didn’t like.

“House Democrats have spent more than two years — since the morning of November 9, 2016 — engaging in antics to undermine President Trump. The fact that they are pushing for impeachment is no surprise, as their motives have always been crystal clear,” she said.

Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds also had sharp words for Democrats, advising them to avoid getting distracted from dealing with ratification of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement on trade, immigration reform and other issues of import to Iowans.

“My message to Congress is do your job,” said Reynolds.

Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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