(Nov 11, 2021 statement by Iowa Senate Democratic Leader Zach Wahls)
Yesterday’s vote by UAW members reminds us all of the power of solidarity: We all do better when we *all* do better.
Striking Deere employees earned a hard-fought victory — Iowa Senate Democrats were proud to stand with them in this righteous fight and to join them on the picket line.
These workers and their families fought and sacrificed not just for themselves but for each other and for future workers.
We’re at a pivotal moment for our state and our country to fight for a fair economy that works for every family. Not only have working people taken this important stand, President Biden, Representative Cindy Axne and Congressional Democrats worked together to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal, and as a result, more than $5 billion is headed towards Iowa – the biggest investment in our state since the New Deal.
This is our chance to fix substandard roads, repair unsafe bridges, bring broadband access to every community, remove lead pipes to protect drinking water, and so much more.
In my Senate District alone, which includes Johnson, Cedar, and Muscatine Counties, there are over 68 bridges that are structurally deficient, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
This investment in our infrastructure means safer communities and more Iowa jobs — good jobs that Iowans can raise a family on. We cannot overstate the impact on Iowa of thousands of good jobs, jobs that pay the prevailing wage instead of the minimum wage, jobs that include decent benefits.
These NEW jobs will be a SHARP contrast to what Governor Reynolds and Republican legislators have offered working Iowans since they’ve been running things at the Statehouse, which is nothing.
Despite having total control at the Statehouse, the Governor and Republican legislative leaders have failed to take meaningful steps to:
• Expand the path to good jobs with better career and technical education and apprenticeships
• Ensure paid family leave
• Expand access to affordable housing
• Make child care more affordable for working families
The bipartisan infrastructure and jobs act – which was passed overwhelmingly with Democratic votes in the House – is our state’s opportunity to change direction.
The bottom line is that while Governor Reynolds, Speaker Grassley and Majority Leader Whitver are pointing fingers and playing the blame game, President Biden, Rep. Axne and other Democratic Leaders are actually getting things done for working Iowans.
-Democrats showed up to support striking John Deere workers, Republicans cowered and stayed silent.
-Democrats passed a massive investment in rebuilding Iowa’s infrastructure and creating new jobs, Republicans opposed it.
-Democrats have a plan to fix supply chain issues, lower prices, and get our economy back to normal. Republicans are happy to send angry tweets and press releases, but have no plan to lower prices for middle-class families.
-Democrats are laser focused on boosting paychecks for hardworking Iowans.
The Republican Party is weak, corrupt, and has no ideas how to actually solve the problems hardworking Iowans face every day. I look forward to seeing what the President and Rep. Axne will do next to help Iowa build back better!