WILTON, IA (CNN/WCMH) — A state representative from Iowa is making headlines after announcing a new bill aimed at clarifying state spending on colleges that have established so-called “cry rooms” for students upset over the results of the election.
“I have named the bill ‘Suck It Up, Buttercup,’” Rep. Bobby Kaufmann said.
The bill was introduced after anti-Trump protesters disrupted traffic on Interstate 80 in Iowa.
“You’ve got a right to be a brat,” Kaufmann told WQAD. “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 at risk.”
Kaufmann has called on the House Oversight Committee to better define state laws and consider fining any Iowa higher education institutions that spend state tax dollars on establishing crying zones.
“Using our tax dollars when tuition rates are skyrocketing is absolutely unacceptable to me,” Kaufmann said. He thinks that the bill will pick up traction when Iowa state legislators return to Des Moines, but some across the aisle do not.
“I find that kind of … kind of odd,” said State Rep. Phyllis Thede. “I don’t want to go after somebody because they are fearful or upset or they’re angry. That’s not what legislators do.”
Thede said she also fears that the bill threatens free speech and that it is the job of representatives to help those who are upset or fearful.
“The legislature can be a leader in this, not by restricting them, not by criminalizing them, but helping them,” she said. “Helping them get through the whole process.”
Kaufmann thinks the bill is an appropriate response to the protests that are happening, not just in Iowa, but across the nation.
“People say, ‘Well, Suck It Up Buttercup, that’s kind of an over-the-top thing to say,’” Kaufmann said. “But so are the protests happening.”