Iowa US Senator Charles Grassley (R)

Noon News 07.28.20

The House and Senate are working to find a compromise coronavirus relief bill now that the senate has unveiled its 1 trillion dollar package. The House passed a 3 trillion dollar bill in May.

Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley says the Senate proposal would about double the support to agriculture from the previous package. And the new measure accounts for losses from the processing bottleneck when slaughterhouses closed due to worker infections. Some farmers had expenses related to euthanizing and disposing of animals.

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There is still no official winner of the Iowa Democratic caucuses as of today (Tuesday), even as voters go to the polls in that other first-in-the-nation state: New Hampshire.

Presidential campaigns and national politicos are turning their attention away from Iowa. And for some party activists, one of the disappointments of the caucus night fiasco is what they see as a lack of recognition for volunteers and organizers.

Lindsey Ellickson is a member of the Iowa Democrats State Central Committee.

 

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Democrat Cory Booker has dropped out of the presidential race after failing to qualify for the December primary debate. Booker announced Monday that he was ending a campaign whose message of unity and love failed to gain traction in a political era marked by chaos and anxiety. 

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Governor Kim Reynolds is no longer allowing the public to attend her annual budget request meetings with state agency directors.

The hearings had allowed state agency directors to publicly describe the needs of their agencies, and the governor could ask them questions. 

But Reynolds says she finds the private meetings very productive.

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Former Vice President Joe Biden has been pushed out first place in the presidential race in Iowa by South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg.  According to the new Monmouth University Poll out today, Mayor Pete leads the Democratic presidential candidates in Iowa, ahead of the state’s first in the nation caucuses in February.  

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Governor Kim Reynolds spoke this morning with the task force she’s assembled to come up with a series of criminal justice reforms, according to Radio Iowa.

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It is election day across Iowa. Voters are electing local and school board candidates.  Six candidates are competing for four seats on the Sioux City Community School board There are also school board races in the Lawton-Bronson and Sgt. Bluff Luton districts. 

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Corn growers and ethanol producers are concerned about the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed fix for ethanol demand.  The comment period is still open. The ethanol industry wants the federal government to account for dozens of ethanol exemption waivers it issued to small refineries.

Iowa’s Republican elected officials to say they are confident the President is on their side, though the EPA  proposal disappointed many. Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley says intends to submit comments asking that the legally required number of gallons be met.

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With news of a tentative trade deal between the U.S. and China, Iowa U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley says he welcomes progress — but with a healthy amount of caution.

Grassley, a Republican, says the initial information that’s being released on the accord “gives me hope, at least some hope” he tells Radio Iowa, that the partial deal can be turned into a “full deal.” “I’m also under no illusions that this is going to be easy,” Grassley says. “After decades of broken promises from the Chinese, there should not be an agreement based on trust.”

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Speaker Nancy Pelosi has announced the House is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.

Pelosi made the announcement Tuesday from the speaker's office at the Capitol saying "no one is above the law."  Calls for an impeachment inquiry have intensified following reports that Trump may have sought a foreign government's help in his reelection bid.

Pelosi says the president "must be held accountable."

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Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to announce on Tuesday that the House will begin a formal impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump. Democrats close to Pelosi told the New York Times that she was taking decisive action in response to startling allegations that the president sought to enlist a foreign power for his own political gain.

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Officials in western Iowa are watching the rising Missouri River. Water breached a levee in Pottawattamie County last night (Wednesday evening). This is the third protective structure in the area to breach due to the Missouri River’s third round of flooding this year.

Officials estimate about 40 homes are in the affected area. The county has sent out emergency alerts to people. Scott Manz (MAN-z) is an emergency management specialist with the county. 

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Corn growers and ethanol producers may get some good news soon, according to Iowa’s senior senator. 

Republican Chuck Grassley says President Donald Trump was surprised that his decision to exempt 31 refineries from their ethanol obligations generated a lot of opposition. Grassley and others met at the White House last week and presented a plan to correct the problem: waived gallons from small refineries need to be re-assigned to someone else. Grassley says the White House had its own proposal.

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The ongoing trade dispute with China is likely to cost Nebraska’s farmers $943 million in lost revenue this year, according to the Nebraska Farm Bureau. However, the bureau says those losses will be partly offset by aid payments from the government.

But, the bureau says the lost revenue will add to the financial pressure on farmers in the state and hurt Nebraska's economy.

And the global economic slowdown and restrictive tariffs are part of the reason for stalled growth in nine Midwest states.  

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A pending trade deal with Canada and Mexico is generating some bipartisan support in a political climate that is often seen as deeply divided. 

Former Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack toured the Anderson Erickson Dairy in Des Moines with Sen. Chuck Grassley today. The two say they share a commitment to improving and modernizing trade with Mexico and Canada. 

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A pending trade deal with Canada and Mexico is generating some bipartisan support in a political climate that is often seen as deeply divided. That’s the message from a Republican U-S senator and a former Democratic agriculture secretary.

Tom Vilsack toured the Anderson Erickson Dairy in Des Moines with Sen. Chuck Grassley today (Monday). The two say they share a commitment to improving and modernizing trade with Mexico and Canada. 

Another Iowa Democrat has entered the primary race to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst.

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J.D. Scholten says today he will make another run for the 4thcongressional seat held for 17 years by conservative Republican Rep. Steve King.

The Sioux City native says he will seek the Democratic nomination

Since winning the seat in 2002, King has been re-elected eight times, usually by margins of 20 to more than 30 percentage points until last November. 

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Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa is declining to directly answer whether he thinks President Donald Trump's comments toward four minority women in the U.S. House were racist.

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This afternoon, former Vice President and Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden was in Siouxland.  He was in Le Mars talking about his approach to improving health care and insurance coverage for all Americans. 

Biden unveiled a plan yesterday that would add a "public option" to "Obamacare," with expanded coverage paid for by raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans. Biden will be in Sioux City tonight at Country Celebrations.  The event begins at 6:00 p.m.

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After many delays, Congress has passed a large disaster aid package with help for communities nationwide, including many in Iowa that are recovering from major flooding. Iowa Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley says some on-farm losses not automatically covered by disaster aid now will be eligible.

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The Trump administration reached agreements with Canada and Mexico to lift tariffs on metals imported from those countries.  The deal resolves a yearlong standoff that inflamed North Atlantic tensions and complicated efforts to ratify a revised trade deal.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and U.S. Senator Joni Ernst praised the deal.  Ernst issued a statement saying the deal was huge news for Iowa, especially the state’s farmers and manufacturers.   

Coming up this week on The Exchange, how soybean farmers are being affected by yet more tariff increases 

Also as we approach the 75thanniversary of D Day, the story of the Nebraska journalists who sent their stories out from behind the lines, and a remembrance of the return of some Vietnam Vets from the 185thin Siouxland 50 years ago.

Intro

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Iowa’s senior senator says he’s disappointed with the escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and China. Republican Chuck Grassley stands by the president’s efforts pressuring China to align its trade practices with global expectations on intellectual property and other issues. But he says increasing tariffs on soybeans and other agricultural products hits farmers hard.

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As China and the United States increased tariffs on each other’s goods in the latest round of an ongoing trade war, farmers are seeing a major market for pork and soybean exports dwindle. That’s prompted the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and the President to propose a 15-billion-dollar bail-out. Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley says he supports the idea. 

0514grassleytrade2 I haven’t seen any specific plans yet, but I think farmers are more interested in the certainty that would come from an agreement with China. (:07)