Podiatry bill spurs pun-filled debate

DES MOINES — It was an unusual “feat” this week in the legislature — nineteen puns and corny references during three minutes of debate in the Iowa House.

Representative Austin Harris of Moulton kicked it off on a bill dealing with the licensing of podiatrists.  “To ensure podiatrists start off on the right foot, this bill would allow for podiatry students to apply for a license after two of their three years of residency,” Harris said. “This would put podiatry on the same standing as other medical doctors.”

Representative Austin Baeth, a doctor from Des Moines, rattled off a dozen more puns.  “This bill will ‘heel’ our lack of podiatric access in this state,” Baeth said. “In time of ‘calloused’ hyperpartisanship, just a real a good ‘midfit’ of the road legislation and I urge your ‘arch’ support,” Baeth said, as other members in the House laughed.

Speaker Pat Grassley jokingly intervened. “If they keep behaving like that, I believe Representative Windschitl is going to have a place for his foot moving forward,” Grassley said, prompting more laughter.

Undeterred, Harris continued. “Thank you to my colleagues for not ‘de-feeting’ my amendment,” Harris said, to more laughter and some groans. “This is a terrific bill that gives podiatrists a foot in the door to starting their careers…I encourage my colleagues to follow in my foot steps in supporting House File 635.”

The bill passed the House unanimously.