This story is written and reported by Jason Clayworth and Jason Noble.
Iowa House Democrats this morning left the Capitol in protest of two gun bills the Republican majority had planned to debate today that critics contend would make the state part of the “Wild, Wild West.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy accused House Leader Linda Upmeyer of failing to properly inform legislators about planned debate today on the bills. The short notice hindered Democrats from offering amendments to improve the bills, McCarthy said.
But Upmeyer, R-Garner, shot back this morning that Democrats did have adequate warning, and suggested their flight from the Capitol was an attempt to make a political scene.
“Iowans didn’t send us down here just to do easy stuff,” she said. “The Second Amendment is a question that many Iowans would like placed before them. I don’t know why they’re afraid to have a debate on a subject just because they don’t like the subject. That seems ludicrous to me.”
One bill would alter the state constitution to specifically include gun rights. Another would rewrite the law on “reasonable force” so that a person may use force — including deadly force — against someone who they believe threatens to kill or cause serious injury or who is committing a violent felony.
“(Upmeyer) said they will debate those bills today whether we like it or not,” said McCarthy, D-Des Moines. “I told her that we’ve been double crossed, and we will not be debating those bills today.”
In response, Democrats have moved to an undisclosed location. Republicans hold 60 of 100 seats and could debate the bill without Democrats since they have a quorum. The majority party sets the calendar for debate and guides the course of business on the House floor. ... cont.
*Who is the enemy and what is the agenda? Seems pretty clear ...