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Iowa's U.S. Senators Grassley And Ernst Split On Biden's Infrastructure Bill

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River to River airs weekdays at 12 p.m. on IPR News and News/Studio One and 10 p.m. on IPR News, and is available as a podcast most days by 5 p.m.

With a surprisingly bipartisan 69 to 30 vote, the U.S. Senate passed President Joe Biden's infrastructure bill. If it passes the U.S. House, it will result in $1 trillion to rebuild the nation's infrastructure, repairing roads and bridges as well as funding climate resilience and broadband initiatives.

On this episode of River to River, host Ben Kieffer speaks with two political scientists about the bill, what it will mean for Iowa and why Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst find themselves on opposite sides of the issue.

"They shut down a bridge just this year across the Mississippi River in Memphis because it was deteriorating and unsafe, and it was not that many years ago that a bridge on I-35 West collapsed in Minneapolis and people died," said political scientist Karen Kedrowski. "So we do need to take care of our infrastructure. It's an issue of public safety, but it's also an issue for economic development."

Guests:

  • Karen Kedrowski, director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics at Iowa State University
  • Chris Larimer, professor of political science at the University of Northern Iowa
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Zachary Oren Smith is a producer for IPR's Talk of Iowa and River to River