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State Government News

Branstad and Reynolds Promise Smooth Transition

Joyce Russell/IPR
Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and Gov. Terry Branstad

Governor Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds Monday described what they expect to be a smooth transition of power, once the governor is confirmed as U.S. Ambassador to China. 

Branstad says he will resign his current job as soon as the U.S. Senate confirms his ambassadorship. 

Once Reynolds becomes governor, she won’t have to start over filling out boards and commissions. 

“Governor Reynolds will not have to resubmit any of the appointments that I've made prior to my resignation,” Branstad said.  “Even though they may not have been acted on by the Senate the appointments will continue.”

Reynolds says agency heads and governor’s office staff is performing well and personnel have been doing an excellent job.

Credit Joyce Russell/IPR
Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds

“I plan on making no changes immediately in the team that we have put together,” Reynolds said.

Branstad will deliver the Condition of the State Address next month, and submit the biennial budget as usual.  

Then Branstad and Reynolds will continue to govern together pending confirmation.  

“We are not going to do anything different,” Reynolds said.

In the past confirmation has taken several months, so it’s possible Branstad could remain as governor through the legislative session.

Branstad says the Trump transition team will be seeking significant documentation before the case goes before Congress.

“I'm told there's a huge amount of paperwork that I have to fill out,” Branstad said.  “I've talked to people that have been appointed ambassadors before and I've talked to people in the transition team and they've prepared me for it.” 

After the documentation is submitted, 42 days are allowed to review it before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee takes up the nomination.     

“Senator Grassley has already agreed to introduce me to the committee,” Branstad said.

In 2009, it took a Democratic Senate more than four months to confirm President Obama’s choice for U.S. Ambassador to China, former Utah Republican Governor Jon Huntsman.

Branstad says he is in conversation with the current ambassador, former Democratic Montana Senator Max Baucus.