The top Republican in the Iowa House says the public posturing of Senate Democrats is puzzling. Senate Democrats have asked Iowans to call Governor Branstad and complain about the stalemate over the state budget.

House Speaker Kraig Paulsen says he’s “a little bit frustrated” by the tactic.

“I don’t know what the Senate Democrats continue to be talking about stalemate,” Paulsen told reporters early this afternoon. 

Legislative leaders met privately this morning and again this afternoon with the governor’s staff and Paulsen says House Republicans have a proposal “on the table” that meets the priorities of both parties, as well as the public’s demand that lawmakers be “good stewards” of the state budget.

“And I don’t think being a good steward means that just because you have a dollar, you should spend it — or every single one of them,” Paulsen says. “I guess maybe that’s one of the fundamental differences between the parties.”

Rank-and-file legislators from both parties are away from the statehouse, with no plan to return this week for debate.