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By Lyle Muller November 18, 2021

Iowa group corrects statement on Charles Grassley’s infrastructure vote

If Your Time is short

  • Progress Iowa, a liberal, progressive political advocacy organization, praised U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, on Nov. 15 for being the only Iowan in Congress voting for a $1 trillion infrastructure bill that President Joe Biden signed earlier that day.
  • Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, also voted for the bill when it passed the Senate in August.
  • Progress Iowa corrected its statement after PolitiFact Iowa inquired about it.

The bipartisan U.S. Senate and House votes were made in the past few months, setting the stage for President Joe Biden to sign on Nov. 15 a landmark, $1 trillion infrastructure bill

Once the bill was signed, the political progressive activist group, Progress Iowa, of Des Moines, issued a prepared statement from executive director Matt Sinovic. It read, in part:

"Today, Iowans can look toward a brighter future as investments in broadband, roads, bridges and more are officially coming to Iowa. The bi-partisan infrastructure bill signed into law this afternoon will bring about $5 billion worth of improvements to our state. It’s a shame only one member of Iowa’s federal delegation, Rep. Cindy Axne, put Iowans first and supported this historic legislation."

The statement went on to urge Iowa’s Republican congressional delegation to support the pending Build Back Better Act.

There was a problem, though, with the statement. Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley also voted for the bill when it went before the Senate on Aug. 10. The bill wasn’t perfect but an improvement over what the House at that time was considering, Grassley said in his own prepared statement about the vote. 

We contacted Progress Iowa the morning after Biden’s signing ceremony and the Iowa group’s statement was made. Sinovic replied that he was preparing a corrected statement.

"It’s a shame only one member of Iowa’s federal House delegation, Rep. Cindy Axne, put Iowans first and supported this historic legislation," the corrected part of his statement released Tuesday morning said. 

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While Axne and Grassley voted yes on the bill, Reps. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, Randy Feenstra and Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa, and Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, voted no.

Sinovic’s statement about complete Republican opposition in Iowa’s congressional delegation to the Build Back Better Act remained, and Grassley has indicated that he opposes that bill. 

"It’s a shame my Democrat colleagues are still intent on following this bipartisan exercise with a partisan multi-trillion dollar reckless tax and spending spree, which I will oppose," Grassley said in his August statement.

The Build Back Better Act would cost $1.75 trillion — $1.85 trillion if the Senate approves a $100 million provision for new rules for undocumented immigrants – and include spending on social programs and climate change initiatives.

Our ruling

Progress Iowa’s executive director initially said the afternoon of Nov. 15 that Rep. Cindy Axne was the only member of Iowa’s congressional delegation to vote for the infrastructure bil. That was wrong, and Sinovic corrected it quickly after PolitiFact Iowa contacted Progress Iowa the morning of Nov. 16. Sinovic wrote in an email that he had been planning the correcti

on. The statement was not on Progress Iowa’s press website on Nov. 16.

The correction set the record straight. But, the initial statement was out there for news organizations and others on Progress Iowa’s email list to read for almost a day. Additionally, Progress Iowa’s Twitter account had an item that remained public the morning of Nov. 17 that thanked Biden and Axne but omitted Grassley’s name as an Iowa supporter of the bill.

We rate the claim to be False.

Our Sources

C-SPAN, "President Biden Signs Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill," Nov. 15, 2021

Progress Iowa emailed news releases, Nov. 15, 2021 and Nov. 16, 2021

Email exchange between PolitiFact Iowa and Progress Iowa, Nov. 16, 2021

H.R.3684 – Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

Chuck Grassley press release, Aug. 10, 2021

PolitiFact, "Iowa is 45th for internet connectivity, Axne says," and The Daily Iowan, "Yes, Representative Axne’s claims of Iowa’s broadband are correct," by Eleanor Hildebrandt, Nov. 12, 2021

H.R.5376 – Build Back Better Act

The White House briefing document for the Build Back Better Act

Progress Iowa Twitter account

Progress Iowa press page

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More by Lyle Muller

Iowa group corrects statement on Charles Grassley’s infrastructure vote

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