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Iowa partisans dive into shutdown debate

(Radio Iowa) – The leaders of Iowa’s two major political parties are engaged in the same war of words as their counterparts in the nation’s capital. Iowa Democratic Party chairman Scott Brennan held a telephone news conference this morning.

“By refusing to compromse and forcing the government to shut down, Republicans have created a self-inflicted wound that will harm our economy and hurt working Iowans,” Brennan said.

A.J. Spiker, the chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa, issued a written statement praising Republicans in congress for calling for a one-year delay of “ObamaCare.”

According to State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald, a Democrat who also spoke on today’s telephone conference call, the stock market dropped 17 percent during the last government shut-down in the mid-1990s.

“If that happens again, that affects everybody who has money in IPERS, everybody who has money in their 401K, anybody that has any investments,” Fitzgerald says. “That’s going to be a tremendous blow to our economy and that will be felt.”

According to the state treasurer, about 9000 federal employees in Iowa will be furloughed. plus many of the 5000 civilian workers at the Rock Island Arsenal may be idled. About 8000 Iowa kids are enrolled in Head Start, the government-run preschool program, and that program may be shut down soon if the impasse in Washington continues. Iowans celebrating milestone birthdays, like number 65, will not be able to sign up for Medicare or Social Security until the shutdown ends and federal offices reopen.

The Iowa GOP’s chairman said in his written statement that Republicans in the House passed a resolution that would have prevented a government shut-down, but the Senate’s Democratic Leader and other Democrats “don’t seem to be willing to work with them.”