Despite talk of bipartisan cooperation, democrats in the Iowa House are gearing up for a fight next week with republicans. Democrats say Christopher Rants, the republican Speaker of the House, has used his power to put too many republicans on House Committees. Just 51 of the 100 House members — 51 percent — are republicans. Yet House Democrat Leader Pat Murphy of Dubuque says 57 percent of the members of House Committees will be republicans. Murphy says that’s the wrong message to be sending to Iowans. Murphy promises a fight on Monday over the House rules which will ratify the membership on House committees. He says the republican decision to stack House committees in their favor sends the message that republicans aren’t willing to compromise with House democrats. Meanwhile, the republican speaker says democrats are making a mountain out of a molehill. “It shouldn’t come as a shock that republicans, who are the majority party in the House, are going to appoint more republican than democrats to serve on the committees,” Rants says. He also says the ratio of committee membership is identical to what was used in 1992 when there were 51 republicans and 49 democrats in the House — the same as what the split will be when the legislature convenes on Monday. Rants says putting a nearly equal number of republicans and democrats on commttees would create gridlock. But that is the formula being used in the Senate this year where there’ll be an equal number of republicans and democrats, and committees will have an equal number of democrat and republican members.
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