Pat Grassley tapped as Iowa House Speaker

In a vote Monday, Iowa House Republicans selected new leadership for the 2020 legislative session.

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Pat Grassley tapped as Iowa House Speaker

Sarah Watson, Politics Editor

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Iowa House Republicans selected Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford, as House Speaker Monday following Speaker Linda Upmeyer’s announcement of her resignation Sept. 30. 

Grassley, 36, is the grandson of U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and farms corn and soybeans with his father and grandfather. First elected to the Iowa House in 2006, Pat Grassley chairs the House Appropriations Committee, which delegates tax revenue to state-funded institutions such as the state Board of Regents schools.

The Republican caucus elected Pat Grassley in a vote on Monday, and will still need to come before the full chamber to be approved as speaker for the 2020 legislative session, which begins Jan. 13.

“It is a true honor to be the next Speaker and I am humbled by the support from the House Republican caucus. I want to thank the members of this caucus for placing their trust in me as we prepare for the 2020 legislative session and campaign season,” the speaker-elect said in a statement after the caucus vote.

Former speaker Upmeyer announced she would step down from the top House leadership position and would not seek re-election in order to spend more time with family.

In his statement, Grassley also laid out his goals for the session.

“Even with new leadership, House Republicans will continue to pursue a common sense agenda that Iowans support,” he said in the statement. “Responsible budgeting that gives taxpayers a seat at the table will always be a top priority for this caucus. We will continue to invest in our workforce, ensure our rural communities aren’t left behind, and focus on hard-working, middle class Iowans. I look forward to hitting the ground running and getting to work on these important issues.”

House Republicans selected nominees to fill two other leadership positions. Republicans selected Rep. Matt Windschitl, R-Missouri Valley, for House Majority Leader, and Rep. John Wills, R-Spirit Lake, as Speaker Pro Tem. Those full chamber will have to vote on these positions.

Chuck Grassley, the U.S. senator, released a statement Monday in support of his grandson.

“I’ve watched my grandson Pat mature as a freshman legislator at age 23 to become a very effective leader in the Iowa House,” he said. “I attribute the mentorship of Speaker Linda Upmeyer for serving as a tremendous role model to Pat and the entire Republican caucus. Notably, Pat became chairman of the Appropriations Committee after just nine years. He likes to remind me that it took 15 years for me to earn that gavel.”

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