Cruelty at Dawn: Iowa Senate GOP Passes Child Labor Bill at 5 AM

For those who still believe ‘both sides are the same,’ here’s another example to challenge that notion. At the ungodly hour of 5:00 am on Tuesday morning, Iowa Senate Republicans managed to pass a child labor bill with chilling implications. The bill permits 14-year-olds to work six-hour night shifts and allows 15-year-olds to toil away in assembly lines at plants. With a 32-17 margin, only two Republicans joined every Democrat to oppose this harsh legislation.

The bill doesn’t stop there—it also allows 16 and 17-year-olds to serve alcohol. Critics, primarily Democrats, argue that the bill exposes young people to dangerous and risky jobs. Republicans, on the other hand, claim it simply presents more opportunities for teens to earn money.

Sen. Janice Weiner (D) of Johnston raised concerns about the potential hazards: “I wouldn’t want my granddaughter serving alcohol or getting an exception to do hazardous work in the name of workplace learning. A workplace accident can happen in the blink of an eye…Iowans should not be putting our kids, and they are kids, in dangerous situations.”

Despite these objections, Sen. Adrian Dickey (R) maintained a different perspective: “With this bill, we are strengthening and providing protections to our youth. We are not forcing them into slave labor. We are not selling our children. We are not even requiring them to work.”

This recent development highlights the hypocrisy of conservatives who claim to be ‘pro-life.’ Instances like this and the December vote against the child sex abuse probe, in which every Democrat voted for it and 28 Republicans against it, make it increasingly clear that both sides are anything but the same.