Senator Grassley is running ads bragging that he “works.” He claims he has a nearly perfect attendance record. He claims he rarely misses a vote. So why isn’t he fighting for Iowans that have been flood victims multiple times? Why can’t Grassley get adequate flood protection for Iowa?
Our major cities have been hit by increasingly frequent and larger floods in recent memory, yet Senator Grassley seems to be a paper tiger when it comes to fighting for Iowans’ flood needs. He has been a Senator since 1981 and Iowans are still waiting. If he couldn’t get Iowans adequate flood protection in the last 35 years, why give him any more time?
Iowa cities have made it clear each time they have endured one of these floods, that they need federal help to build permanent flood control levees. Following the latest flood in Cedar Rapids, Grassley is whining and blaming the Corps of Engineers for failing to build levees. The Corps can only build flood protection if Congress appropriates the money. Iowa has been left behind by other states because Grassley is powerless to get adequate funding.
Grassley is running ads showing him doing pushups. Why isn’t he pushing his party to appropriate sufficient dollars to protect Iowans from the next flood? Grassley’s Republican Party controls both Houses of Congress, so why is Grassley incapable of getting Iowans their share of basic flood needs? Why is his party ignoring him and our state’s needs? Has he lost his voice in his own party?
It’s been 23 years since the record Midwest flood of 1993 that shut the water off in Des Moines for two weeks and paralyzed Iowa’s capitol city. Why is Des Moines still waiting after all these years to protect them from the next 1993-sized flood? Des Moines’ current levees are as much as four feet below predicted flood levels. Much of Des Moines’ Downtown and East village are still in danger thanks to Grassley’s inaction. Grassley is blaming the Corps for Des Moines’ inadequate flood funding as well.
In 2008, eastern Iowa flooding exceeded the record levels set in 1993. That Cedar Rapids flood crest was 20 feet over flood stage, exceeding the all-time record by 10 feet. The Iowa City/Coralville area suffered millions of dollars in flood damage as well.
Two years later additional floods in 2010 caused significant flooding in Des Moines, Ames and Oskaloosa. Are we seeing a pattern here? Iowa scientists are predicting more frequent and larger floods in our future. Why does Grassley refuse to listen to Iowa scientists’ warnings? Has he been in office too long? Has he become too comfortable? Is he just showing up and taking a paycheck?
Fast forward six years later to September, 2016 and massive flooding once again hit eastern Iowa. Just last month the Cedar River crested 8 feet over flood stage but the quickly erected temporary barriers held. This flood will cost Cedar Rapids and north eastern Iowans millions of dollars. Cedar Rapids and many river towns have pleaded for federal help to build permanent flood protection, yet Grassley has totally ignored their critical flood requests. Cedar Rapids asked for $73 million following the 2008 flood to complete their levee system. Grassley’s answer: he’s writing letters to the Corps of Engineers. Don’t Iowans need more than a Senator that punches the clock everyday but can only write letters?
We need a Senator that not only shows up every day but can actually get something done for Iowans. Patty Judge served as the head of Iowa Homeland Security during the flood of 2008. She understands Iowans’ flood control needs. We need a Senator that can push forward legislation that benefits Iowa, not a Senator that brags about doing push-ups. Patty Judge will demand adequate federal funding from the Corps of Engineers rather than Grassley’s approach of complaining to an agency that he and his party refuses to fund. Judge will be a tiger for Iowa, not a letter writer.
He boasts about jogging everyday but based on his record, he’s been running in place. Iowans can’t withstand more of Grassley’s bragging, boasting and excuses. Judge will fight for Iowans rather than blame others for inaction.
Iowans need to hire a work horse (Judge) and retire the ineffective show horse (Grassley).
by Rick Smith