Sen. Cory Booker Drops Out of the 2020 Pres Race, Iowa Lawmakers Get Down to Work

Jan 13, 2020

Representatives John Wills and Matt Windschitl with new Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley, courtesy AP

011320 404

Democrat Cory Booker today has dropped out of the presidential race after failing to qualify for the December primary debate.  The U.S. senator from New Jersey had struggled in polling and fundraising since launching his bid last February. Booker was unable to hit 5% support in a single qualifying poll required to make it on the January debate stage. 

The 2020 Iowa Legislature convenes this morning, with lawmakers from both political parties pledging action to ease the child care concerns of Iowa parents. Republican Governor Kim Reynolds said this summer she’s exploring a number of options, like tax credits for businesses that provide on-site child care to workers or state grants to help establish new child care centers. There’s also been discussion among Republicans and Democrats about state child care assistance for low-income Iowans. 

And Siouxland Democratic House lawmakers Chris Hall and Tim Kacena said in a joint statement today that they also would like to see more and better childcare options in Iowa. 

Hall and Kacena say they intend to focus on bringing better jobs to the community through increased job training, improving healthcare by lowering the cost of prescription drugs and increasing access to mental health care; and they would like to make Iowa schools number one in the nation again. 

Republican Pat Grassley officially became Speaker of the Iowa House today (Monday), the first day of the 2020 legislative session.

Grassley is a 36-year-old farmer from New Hartford in northeast Iowa.

He was escorted to the speaker’s chair by his grandfather, U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley.

"I’ve seen him grow over the years that he first approached me 14 years ago saying he’d like to run for the state House of Representatives.”

Pat Grassley is taking on the top leadership position in the Iowa House after former speaker Linda Upmeyer stepped down last fall. He says his number one priority for this session is growing the state’s workforce.