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On the Stump: Politics 2017

Reports from Iowa to Washington

December 22, 2017
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

WASHINGTON? Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee reaction to tax bill:

"When House Republicans say 'Merry Christmas,' apparently it's only to millionaires, billionaires, and large corporations," said DCCC spokesperson Rachel Irwin.

"This tax scam is loaded up with special interest loopholes and tax breaks for the wealthiest and biggest corporations, while middle class Iowans get stuck with higher taxes and coal in their stockings. Americans are making a list, checking it twice, and will hold Reps. Blum and Young responsible for this tax scam next November."

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WASHINGTON Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on tax bill passed in the Senate on Dec. 19:

"This historic legislation makes good on a promise to deliver tax relief to Americans from every walk of life and income level. Its passage is good news for working families, U.S. jobs and industry and an economy that was stagnant for far too long. It will let Iowans keep more of their own money, so they can choose how best to spend what they've earned. Wages will also grow and jobs will return to our shores as a result of making American industry and workers more globally competitive.

"There have been some misconceptions about what this legislation does, which ideological opponents of lower taxes have helped sow. Iowans are understandably paying close attention to how they will be impacted. Iowans should rest assured they will begin seeing more in their take home pay almost immediately, and that will continue for years to come. This tax reform legislation lowers rates on every income level, and the progressivity of the tax code is maintained, ensuring that Iowans of all stripes will share the benefits of tax reform, and no one group is treated unfairly. As just one example, the average family of four with two children will see a tax cut of more than $2,000, and millions of lower-income Americans will be removed from the tax rolls entirely. That will make a real difference in the lives of so many hardworking Iowans.

"This bill also repeals the unfair and regressive Obamacare individual mandate tax. The bottom line is that this gives Iowans the freedom to make health care choices that work best for them, instead of being forced by the government to purchase an unaffordable product they either don't want or don't need. In 2015, more than 52,000 Iowans were required to pay the individual mandate tax, even though more than 80 percent of those who paid the tax made less than $50,000 a year. That's a tax on middle-class families, and I'm glad to see it gone."

BROOKLYN, IOWA Dairy farmer and former Iowa Farm Bureau President Craig Lang was scheduled to make his formal announcement for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture on Thursday morning, Dec, 21, at his family farm south of Brooklyn.

Lang is seeking to gain the Republican nomination or the post held by current Ag Secretary Bill Northey.

Northey has been nominated by President Trump to the U.S. Dept, of Agriculture Under Secretary of Farm Production and Conservation post.

His Senate confirmation has been held up by Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) over reported issues between the oil and ethanol industries.

Northey (R-Spirit Lake) has served as Iowa Secretary of Agriculture since 2006.

DES MOINES In a break with a decades-long tradition, the Reynolds administration (Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds) has changed the face of the first spouse doll. For the first time, the doll will have the face of First Spouse Kevin Reynolds, not former First Lady Billie Ray.

The display case was unveiled on Dec. 28, 1976. Reynolds will be the fifth doll added since the display's inception.


WASHINGTON- DEC. 20 Idaho is Nation's Fastest-Growing State, Census Bureau Reports

Idaho was the nation's fastest-growing state over the last year. Its population increased 2.2 percent to 1.7 million from July 1, 2016, to July 1, 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's national and state population estimates released today.

Following Idaho for the largest percentage increases in population were: Nevada (2.0 percent), Utah (1.9 percent), Washington (1.7 percent), and Florida along with Arizona (1.6 percent).

"Domestic migration drove change in the two fastest-growing states, Idaho and Nevada, while an excess of births over deaths played a major part in the growth of the third fastest-growing state, Utah," said Luke Rogers, Chief of the Population Estimates Branch.

The U.S. population grew by 2.3 million between July 1, 2016, and July 1, 2017, representing a 0.72 percent increase to 325.7 million. Furthermore, the population of voting-age residents (adults age 18 and over) grew to 252.1 million (77.4 percent of the 2017 total population), an increase of 0.93 percent from 2016 (249.5 million). Net international migration decreased 1.8 percent between 2016 and 2017, making it the first drop since 2012-2013. However, net international migration continues to be a significant factor in the population growth of the United States, adding just over 1.1 million people in the last year.

Eight states lost population between July 1, 2016, and July 1, 2017. Illinois had the largest numeric decline, losing 33,703 people (this was a relatively small percentage change compared to its population of 12.8 million). Wyoming had the largest percentage decline (1.0 percent). Three states that had been losing population in the previous year, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Vermont, saw slight increases.

States in the South and West continued to lead in population growth. In 2017, 38.0 percent of the nation's population lived in the South and 23.8 percent lived in the West.

In addition to the population estimates for the 50 states and the District of Columbia, the new estimates show that Puerto Rico had an estimated population of 3.3 million, a decline from 3.4 million in 2016.

The estimates for Puerto Rico are as of July 1, 2017, and therefore do not reflect the effects of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017. The estimates for Gulf states affected by Hurricane Harvey in August 2017 and Hurricane Irma in September 2017 are also not reflected in the July 1, 2017, estimates.

Also released today were national-and state-level estimates of the components of population change, which include tables on births, deaths and migration



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