Austin Harris. (IA Legislature photo)

It was an unusual feat — 19 puns and corny references during three minutes of debate in the Iowa House.

Representative Austin Harris of Moulton kicked it off on a bill dealing with the licensing of podiatrists. “To ensure podiatrists start off on the right foot, this bill would allow for podiatry students to apply for a license after two of their three years of residency,” Harris said. “This would put podiatry on the same standing as other medical doctors.”

Representative Austin Baeth, a doctor from Des Moines, rattled off a dozen more puns. “This bill will ‘heel’ our lack of podiatric access in this state. In a time of calloused hyperpartisanship, it’s just a real good mid-fit of the road legislation and I urge your arch support,” Baeth said, as other members in the House laughed.

House Speaker Pat Grassley jokingly intervened. “If they keep behaving like that, I believe Representative Windschitl is going to have a place for his foot moving forward,” Grassley said, prompting more laughter.

Undeterred, Harris continued. “Thank you to my colleagues for not ‘de-feeting’ my amendment,” Harris said, to more laughter and some groans. “This is a terrific bill that gives podiatrists a foot in the door to starting their careers…I encourage my colleagues to follow in my foot steps in supporting House File 635.”

The bill passed the House unanimously.

Radio Iowa