Local Unions Respond to Blum Tweet Calling for "Recession" in Washington, D.C.

Republican U.S. Rep. Rod Blum, of Dubuque. (courtesy Rod Blum congressional office)
Republican U.S. Rep. Rod Blum, of Dubuque. (courtesy Rod Blum congressional office)(KCRG)
Published: Mar. 23, 2016 at 4:50 PM CDT
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Some labor groups are upset about a tweet Iowa Congressman Rod Blum (R) sent out earlier this week. Blum tweeted from his personal account an image of construction cranes. It said, "Washington DC is booming. Tower cranes everywhere. Being built on the backs of US taxpayers. DC needs a recession."

TV9 sat down with Mike Sadler II, a business agent for the Cedar Rapids Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 125. He said it's hard to believe anyone, let alone an elected official, would call for a recession anywhere in the country. Sadler said Blum's statement makes him concerned for working families in Iowa and across the country. He believes things could be better in the state when it comes to the building trades, but that many local unions are looking toward the future. He told us union leaders have been stepping up their efforts to recruit younger people, offering more apprentice fairs. If given the chance, Sadler said he'd like to question Blum about the intent of his comment.

"I think it was a poorly-written comment, or an unexplained comment," Sadler told us. "But again, mentioning a recession; we just came out of a recession as a country not that long ago."

Sadler isn't the only one who's responded negatively to Congressman Blum's comments. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat who represents the District of Columbia, tweeted "Shame on Rod Blum. Local D.C. Dollars are fueling our economic boom."

In a written response to the backlash over his original tweet, Blum doubled down and said, "The fact is that while much of America is struggling, 6 of the 10 richest counties in the country are in the D.C. area." He also wrote, "I want those jobs and tower cranes in Eastern Iowa instead of Washington D.C."