A massive infrastructure package could wind up before Congress that would do more than just address infrastructure and the fight for Iowa’s seat in Congress that used to belong to Dave Loebsack reached a new level.
We talked about those topics on this week’s 4 The Record with former Iowa Republican Party Chair Steve Grubbs and former Rock Island Mayor Mark Schwiebert, a Democrat.
Let’s get right to the developments in the fight for Iowa’s Second Congressional District seat.
This is where Iowa certified Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks as the winner by six votes.
Democrat Rita Hart challenged the results by going directly to Congress rather than the Iowa court system.
The House administrative committee allowed the appeal.
That seemed to be a formality.
This week both parties filed their answers to a questionnaire from the committee, outlining their arguments.
Hart essentially says 22 ballots were thrown out that should have been counted — ballots that would have gone her way.
Hart’s lawyers provided the specific details.
Miller-Meeks’ filing essentially repeated the claim the election was certified and it’s a matter for Iowa courts.
Hart is pursuing a legal course of action.
In fact, right now an Illinois Republican also filed with Congress to overturn the election results that seated a Democrat.
Congress reviewed 110 election cases in the last 90 years.
Only three results have been overturned.
Democrats and Republicans each call the other hypocrites.
Grubbs and Schwiebert discussed if the precedent has been set that both parties will do anything to exploit their power and if this is all going to wind up being much ado about nothing.
I brought this up with Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger.
The New York Times reports the Biden administration has a $3 trillion package in the works.
It would raise taxes to pay for infrastructure like streets, highways, bridges and water systems, but also hundreds of billions of dollars to fight climate change and domestic policies favored by Democrats.
This week congressional committees moved forward on smaller legislation to fix water systems.
The Senate version is $35 billion.
Civil engineers have said for decades the country’s infrastructure is crumbling.
It seems the White House approach could resemble the public works administration of the new deal.
Schwiebert and Grubbs talked about the idea to go big and how they think it would impact the economy.
There’s a proposal being floated to convert the existing Interstate 80 bridge over the Mississippi River into a Bison Bridge as part of a national park after a replacement bridge is built.
This is several years away from being reality, based on how long it took to plan and build the new Interstate 74 bridge.
Environmentalist Chad Pregracke is behind this. It would require clearing government hurdles.
Grubbs and Schwiebert discussed the merit of this idea.
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.