"He’s the go to guy" and "She has her game face on" are just a few of the top cliches from the sports world, but legislators talk a pretty good game, too.
"I don’t want to say it’s on a fast track," Senate President Jack Kibbie said recently about the entire 2009 legislative agenda. He and others roll out "when the wheels come off" to describe a bill that has stalled. Bills have started moving through the 2009 Iowa Legislautre, though, and the governor signed a couple of bills into law last week.
"We’re in the kind of working phase of the legislature, all this nuts and bolts work that’s going on," House Democratic Leader Kevin McCarthy said last week. McCarthy is among those who are fond of talking about using "all the tools in the toolbox" — tools to deal with those nuts and bolts he mentioned.
But sometimes lawmakers go down a "slippery slope," as House Speaker Pat Murphy did recently. "I don’t expect that to be at the front burner of anyone’s plate," Murphy said. Democrats control the legislature’s debate agenda, so Murphy and other top Democrats are better positioned to judge what is a so-called "front-burner" issue.
That’s why Republicans like House G.O.P. Leader Kraig Paulsen often utter the most cryptic cliches. "Well, what’s happening is happening," Paulsen said last Thursday.