"Suck it up" says Iowa lawmaker's bill on Trump protests

Published: Nov. 15, 2016 at 8:59 AM CST
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Iowa Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, (R) Wilton, is borrowing a saying for disgruntled farm hands to describe legislation aimed at anti-Trump protests.

"I have named the bill, 'Suck it up, Buttercup'," he told ABC affiliate WQAD on Monday.

It's inspired by recent gridlock on Interstate 80 when drivers had to wait it out during a post-election protest.

The proposal is grabbing national attention and requests for interviews, sparking thousands of online comments.

"You've got a right to be a brat," he said. "You've got a right to protest, that's constitutionally protected. But you do not have a right to throw a temper tantrum on I-80 and put my constituents' lives in danger."

Kaufmann wants the House Oversight Committee to clarify state laws and look into fining Iowa colleges for any tax dollars spent on so-called "Cry Rooms" for students upset over the election results.

"Using our tax dollars when tuition rates are skyrocketing is absolutely unacceptable to me," he said.

But Iowa Rep. Phyllis Thede, (D) Bettendorf, says the proposal does threaten free speech.

"I don't want to go after somebody because they're fearful, upset or angry," she said. "That's not what legislatures do."

Kaufmann thinks the bill will have traction in Des Moines early in the 2017 session.

Thede disagrees and calls it "kind of odd."

"The legislature can be a leader," she continued. "Not by restricting them, not by criminalizing them, but by helping them -- helping them get through the whole process."

For Kaufmann, his farm saying could motivate a national movement.

"People say, 'Suck it up, Buttercup, that's kind of over the top,'" he concluded. "But so are the protests that are happening."