Two Democrats who hope to face-off against Iowa’s Republican Congressmen in 2014 both say the government shut-down highlights the “recklessness” of Republicans in the U.S. House. Jim Mowrer of Boone is the only Democrat running in Iowa’s fourth district which is currently represented by Republican Steve King of Kiron.
“Congressman King and a small number of his Tea Party colleagues are holding the U.S. government hostage,” Mowrer says, “and that’s having a great impact on our economy and the American people.”
Mowrer, a former Iowa National Guardsman, says the shutdown is harming veterans and their families.
“First and foremost, the Department of Defense has been unable to pay the standard death benefits that we pay to the families of troops who have been killed in action and those are typically $100,000 and paid within three days and they haven’t been receiving those death benefits during the shutdown,” Mowrer says.
The families of four soldiers killed last weekend in Afghanistan have not received military death benefits or the money to pay for the funerals because of the government shutdown. Congressman King sent an email to supporters this morning, saying it is “reprehensible” for Democrats to refuse to accept Republican demands that any government funding bill include a delay or an end to ObamaCare.
Democrat Staci Appel of Ackworth is planning a race against Tom Latham, a congressman from Clive.
“This shutdown is extremely reckless,” Appel says. “I don’t think that we should continue this path whatsoever.”
A group called Americans United for Change has begun running TV ads targeting 10 Republican congressmen over the shutdown and Latham is one of them. According to Appel, Latham and other House Republicans are also being “unreasonable” by refusing to raise the nation’s debt limit if they don’t get other concessions from President Obama and other Democrats.
“I don’t think Iowans are up for gambling with the full faith and credit of the United States,” Appel says.
Appel faces Gabriel De La Cerda of Des Moines in the June primary for the Democratic Party’s nomination in the third congressional district. In a written statement last Thursday, Latham said “common sense solutions can be achieved rather quickly when Washington sets aside senseless politics, partisanship and pandering, and commits to working together and listening to each other…and the American people.”