Iowa’s Congressional delegation is lauding the earlier-than-expected shift of power in Iraq. Congressman Leonard Boswell, a democrat from Des Moines, says the early turnover of power in Iraq is a “significant achievement.” Congressman Steve King, a republican from Kiron was the last U.S. Congressman to visit Iraq before the turnover and he called the hand-over of power a “monumental occasion” that lets the Iraqis “develop a model of liberty in the Middle East.” King says if this level of planning can be carried out in other areas, like the elections planned in January, then today’s development bodes well for the future of Iraq. Are the Iraqis ready to govern themselves? King says he doesn’t know whether any people are ever quite ready. He says it’s a bit like becoming a parent. King says you may not be ready, but you will when the baby is born and most become good parents. King says now’s the time for the Iraqi people to “grasp freedom themselves.” Congressman Tom Latham, a republican from Alexander, visited Iraq last year. Latham says “today marks another important step in the fragile process of bringing democracy to Iraq.” Congressman Jim Leach, a republican from Iowa City, says the return of sovereignty to Iraqis is “a good symbolic step” but it’s time to “add substance to symbolism.” Leach says the timing of elections in Iraq should be moved up because U.S. forces are now seen as an “unwanted occupying force” rather than an “army of liberation.” Republican Senator Charles Grassley calls today’s handover of power an “historic event” because for the first time in decades, the Iraqi people are in charge of their own destiny. Democrat Senator Tom Harkin says he applauded the transfer of power, but he regrets the secrecy surrounding it and the lack of security in Iraq that prevented “ordinary Iraqis” from celebrating the event. Congressman Boswell also warns that “the danger to our troops is not diminished.”