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Iowa House Dems. Walk Out in Protest of Gun Bills

Social issues surprisingly came to the front of national political dialogue last month, could second amendment rights be next?

Iowa Democrats made an unprecedented exit from the state's Capitol Wednesday, according to Republican Gov. Terry Branstad in protest to Republican plans to debate two gun measures. Democrats claim that Republicans failed to properly inform legislators about plans to debate bills supporting gun rights. The Des Moines Register reports:

"At issue were bills seeking to broaden Iowa’s 'Castle Doctrine' allowing individuals to defend themselves with deadly force and a proposal to write the right to bear arms into the state constitution.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, D-Des Moines accused Republican House Leader Linda Upmeyer of failing to properly inform legislators about plans to debate the bills on Wednesday, leaving Democrats without time to draw up and offer changes to the bills.

“She said they will debate those bills today whether we like it or not,” McCarthy told the Des Moines Register on Wednesday morning, as Democrats were leaving the Capitol. “I told her that we’ve been double crossed, and we will not be debating those bills today.”

He later circulated a scanned copy of the House calendar, on which he said Upmeyer had circled the bills she intended to bring up for debate. The gun measures were not among those circled. (A copy of the calendar is available on the Register’s website.) Republicans hold a 60-to-40 majority in the House, which allows them to set the calendar for debate and largely control the legislative process."

Republicans argue that the schedule was well known and the exit was an attempt to make a political scene.

It is unsure where the Democrats' fled to but the Register reports that the incident disrupted a full day of legislation action, featuring debate on 11 bills in addition to the gun bills, several committee meetings, and an event commemorating Black History Month. The event, which featured several guests whom had traveled from across the state, was curtailed thanks to the stunt shortening an hour-long program and leaving two massive sheet cakes brought for lawmakers to commemorate the military service of the Tuskegee Airmen uneaten.

“I’ve been in the minority and I’ve been in the majority in the legislature and I’ve always felt that the best thing to do is to not be afraid to state your position," Gov. Terry Branstad said of the incident. Branstad has been in Iowa politics since the 1970s and told the Register that the incident is unprecedented and could not recall a similar situation in Iowa.

Wisconsin and Indiana  Democrats behaved similarly to their hawk-eye brethren when they fled the state last year as an attempt to block legislation reforming unions.

Perhaps this will be the new trend in American politics, if you don't like what is being debated, flee the state.

Real mature.



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