2020 Legislative Session Kicks Off

The Pomp and Circumstance that is typically seen when lawmakers are sworn in was evident. Monday morning in the Iowa House Chamber as the Iowa Legislature convened for 2020. However, rather than swearing in an entirely re-elected Iowa House, there was only one election and oath of office that truly mattered on Monday: the election of a new house speaker.

Late in 2019, Iowa House Speaker Linda Upmeyer (R-Clear Lake) announced her intention to resign as Speaker at the start of the legislative session, and then not run for re-election in 2020. Upmeyer called the house to order Monday morning, and after the invocation and pledge of allegiance, presided over the brief election of her successor. As Republicans hold the majority in the Iowa House, the election was already a foregone conclusion.

After Upmeyer’s announcement in late 2019, House Republicans met and elected their new leadership team, to be ratified by the legislature on Monday. That new leadership team is to be led by State Representative Pat Grassley (R- New Hartford), the grandson of Senator Chuck Grassley, with Grassley serving as speaker of the Iowa house.

After being formally nominated on the floor by fellow Republican representative Bobby Kauffman (R-Wilton), and seconded by Representative Jarad Klein (R-Keota), House Minority Leader Todd Pritchard (D-Charles City) moved that the votes of all members of the Iowa House be cast in favor of Grassley’s election as speaker. The motion was a mere formality, as all members of the house approved the motion.

Grassley was escorted to the Speaker’s rostrum by his grandfather, as well as two of his Republican colleagues, and Pritchard, where he was sworn in and made opening comments.

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