(This story was updated at 2:23 p.m.)
Governor Chet Culver and fellow Democrats in the legislature disagree about Culver’s influence in crafting a tax bill. The legislation would reconfigure Iowa’s income tax system and has been on hold for a couple of weeks.
Late last week, House Speaker Pat Murphy told reporters the changes Governor Culver insisted upon caused at least two Democrats to switch from "yes" to "no" on the bill.
"I think that slowed down the process, or I think we would have had that bill done two weeks ago," Murphy said.
According to Murphy, 52 House Democrats had lined up in support of the concept when it was first introduced, but after the changes Culver asked for just 50 Democrats now favor of it. That means the bill is stalled since it takes 51 votes to pass legislation in the House.
During an interview with WHO-TV on Monday, Culver had a different take."The original bill only had 49 percent of Iowans getting a tax cut. We now have moved that number to 60 percent," Culver said. "I think we probably picked up some important votes — and maybe even a few Republican votes."
Iowans for Tax Relief president Ed Failor, Junior has been a leading critic of the plan and he doubts Culver’s assertion that he’s helped pick up votes for the plan.
"I think his description of that is imaginative," Failor says. "I don’t think there is any truth to it, to be frank."
House Republican Leader Kraig Paulsen of Hiawatha says Culver has not rounded up any Republican support of the plan.
"While the governor may be eager to raise taxes to support the most spending in the state’s history, he is in error that Republicans will help him with that task," Paulsen said in a prepared statement. "There are no Republicans in the House that will vote to eliminate federal deductibility. House Republicans continue to stand firm with Iowans and will not support any attempts to raise taxes on Iowa’s families."
Culver and his fellow Democrats are also struggling to agree on the governor’s "I-JOBS" borrowing plan that would finance infrastructure projects around the state.