Party split in Iowa delegation as U.S. House passes Build Back Better bill

WASHINGTON — Iowa’s U.S. House delegation has voted along party lines this morning as Democrats passed their Build Back Better Act. Congresswoman Cindy Axne, a Democrat from Des Moines, calls the bill “transformational.”

“I don’t look at this as a bill for Democrats,” Axne said during an appearance on “Iowa Press” on Iowa PBS. “I look at this as a bill for Iowans and a bill for Americans because it fulfills the promises I made to the people here in the state when I decided to run which was putting money in people’s pockets and bringing more opportunity to the people that live here.”

The bill extends the enhanced child tax credits parents have been receiving since July and aims to lower the cost of some prescription drugs for seniors and for diabetics who rely on insulin. The legislation also provides federal funding to a variety of clean energy and climate initiatives. The House Republican leader spoke against the bill for eight-and-a-half hours, ending his remarks at about 4 a.m. Iowa time. Congresswoman Ashley Hinson, a Republican from Marion, calls the bill “a monstrosity.”

“I can tell you from all the town halls on the road, the folks at home are frustrated by runaway government spending,” Hinson said during a conference call with Iowa reporters on Thursday. “They don’t want to see their hard-earned paychecks spent like Monopoly money.”

Congressman Randy Feenstra, a Republican from Hull, calls the bill “a complete disaster.”

“We can’t continue to go down this path of continuing to see increases in our gas and our groceries and our hardware supplies,” Feenstra said during a brief speech on the House floor Thursday, “all because of this reckless spending that continues to happen.”

Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Ottumwa, the other Republican in Iowa’s U.S. House delegation, also voted no on the bill. Miller-Meeks said increasing government spending will make inflation worse.