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Bipartisan movement on gun legislation splits Iowa's Republican Senators

River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

The U.S. Senate voted 64-34 to pass the first major federal gun safety legislation in a generation Tuesday.

Political scientists join River to River host Ben Kieffer to analyze how the GOP is responding to gun violence after the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act cleared its first hurdle in the Senate. Iowa Republican U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst voted to advance the legislation, while Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, who faces reelection in November, voted no.

Also, the Iowa Democratic Party is making its case in the nation's capital this week for keeping its first in the nation status and explaining how they plan to revamp the process.

Later in the hour, experts unpack highlights from the fourth January 6 committee hearing Tuesday and discuss former Vice President Mike Pence's chances to capture his party's presidential nomination.


  • Rachel Paine Caufield, professor of Political Science at Drake University
  • Jonathan Hassid, associate professor of Political Science at Iowa State University.
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Samantha McIntosh is a talk show producer at Iowa Public Radio. Prior to IPR, Samantha worked as a reporter for radio stations in southeast and west central Iowa under M&H Broadcasting, and before that she was a weekend music host for GO 96.3 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Natalie Dunlap is a rising junior at the University of Iowa majoring in journalism and minoring in gender, women's & sexuality studies. She is from Iowa City and in her free time enjoys getting coffee and reading downtown with friends.