Members of Iowa’s Congressional delegation are outlining their plans for the new year & the session that’s just begun. Democrat Senator Tom Harkin says his education goals include getting more teachers into America’s schools while reducing the number of students in classrooms. Iowa is the only state in the nation to receive federal money for school modernization.Harkin says his top priority is ensuring the budget surplus is put toward Medicare, Social Security and paying down the national debt. Harkin says he also wants to focus on improving our health care system in several areas.Congressman Tom Latham, a republican from Alexander, wants to see the so-called marriage penalty changed, so couples who tie the knot aren’t nicked for more at tax time than people who simply live together.Latham says the marriage penalty costs many married couples about 14-hundred dollars a year in additional taxes. He says more than 50-million Americans are being hurt financially this way.Latham says current policy is upside-down. He echoes Harkin’s goals in education, Social Security and Medicare. Latham also wants to see greater emphasis on defense spending and an effort to boost morale and readyness in the military machine that’s been “run-down dramatically” in recent years.
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