Republicans in the Iowa House are scaling back their bid to make changes in Iowa’s labor laws.

There have been 10 days of protest in Wisconsin as that state’s Republican governor and Republican-led legislature try to virtually eliminate collective bargaining for all government workers in Wisconsin, but Republican Governor Terry Branstad’s bid for new “veto power” over negotiated pay raises for state government workers in Iowa has been tabled in the Republican-led Iowa House. 

Representative Lance Horbach, a Republican from Tama, says it’s an attempt to try to work with the Democrats who control the debate agenda in the Iowa Senate. “We want to put something on the table that is absolutely, from the bottom of our heart, is a resolution that we want to throw on the table for the senate and do that, we had to get rid of some pieces of the bill that were too egregious,” Horbach says. 

The bill Horbach is pushing would still take health insurance off the list of items unions can bargain about during contract negotiations. “There’s a lot there that unions will not like,” Horbach says of the retooled bill.  “There’s a lot there that taxpayers won’t like.”

Democrats have vowed to fight Republican efforts to restrict Iowa labor laws. Likewise, Republicans were outspoken critics for the past few years when Democrats proposed expanding union rights in Iowa.

Democrats on the House Labor Committee waged an all-night effort to stop the bill limiting collective bargaining rights for public employees.  They offered fifty amendments which all failed.  The bill passed along party lines shortly after six o’clock this morning.  The bill now goes to the full House for debate.