Democrats struggle to find an effective way to check the president.
Iowa state lawmakers divided over medical cannabis with the governor and Illinois concludes an ambitious legislative agenda delivering big victories for the new governor.
All of these came up for discussion with former Scott County Democratic Party Chair Karl Rhomberg and Iowa Republican Party Chair Jeff Kaufmann on 4 The Record.
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker can take a victory lap after this legislative session.
Democrats used their strong majorities in the legislature to adopt a $40 billion budget and $45 billion capital bill, move forward on a constitutional amendment to adopt a progressive income tax rate, became the first legislature to legalize recreational marijuana and gave the okay to betting on sports among other things.
Those are some highlights Democrats are proud of. Other flat taxes will go up like doubling the gas tax for one to pay for infrastructure projects.
Rhomberg and Kaufmann discuss how important it was for the governor to get these wins and what impact this could have on the future for Illinois.
Something we haven’t had a chance to talk about on this program yet is Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds’ recent veto of the bill that would have expanded the state’s medical cannabis program.
This passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.
Some Democrats are calling for a special session to try to override the veto.
Republicans aren’t going along with that.
Kaufmann and Rhomberg talked about what political ramifications there could be from this and why there’s reluctance from Republicans to fight the governor if they voted for this bill.
Weapons in Saudi Arabia
There’s biparitsanship in Congress to stop President Trump on one issue.
This has to do with the president’s move to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries at the end of May.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared a national emergency to make it happen as a way to confront Iran.
It’s the law that Congress gets to review all arms deals.
Legislation is in the work to block this deal. It could be a test if there’s enough opposition to override a likely veto.
Rhomberg and Kaufmann addressed why Americans should care if the president wants to make a deal like this.
Refusing to testify
House Democrats keep making demands of former Trump administration officials to testify or hand over documents to one or more of the Congressional oversight committees.
A lot of them are rebuffing those demands at the order of the president.
Attorney General William Barr is among them.
Former Communications Director Hope Hicks is defying the president and will hand over documents.
Democrats threaten to hold those who ignore their subpoenas in contempt of Congress.
That can bring jail time or a large fine, but often takes years to work its way through the courts.
Kaufmann and Rhomberg discussed why there is such a thing as contempt of Congress if it has no teeth and how weak today’s Congress is under the separation of powers.
Watch the full conversation in the video above.
Question of the week
Local 4 News, your local election headquarters, is proud to present 4 The Record, a weekly news and public affairs program focused on the issues important to you. It’s a program unlike any other here in the Quad Cities. Tune in each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as Jim Niedelman brings you up to speed on what’s happening in the political arena, from Springfield, Des Moines, Washington, D.C. and right here at home.