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Broadband expansion bill fails in Iowa House


A bill to expand high speed Internet access to rural Iowans has failed in the Iowa House, dealing a blow to one of Gov. Terry Branstad's priorities.


The bill drew just 44 votes in favor and 51 against in the chamber where Republicans hold a majority of the seats.


Guy Vander Linden of Oskaloosa was one of the nine Republican "no" votes Friday. He says the bill was too loose with tax incentives, saying: "It sounds like a blank check I'm not willing to sign."


A provision giving cellular companies more control over tower placement that angered city officials was removed at the last minute.


Branstad blamed Democrats for Washington-style politics, but House Democratic Leader Mark Smith says the Republican majority failed to pass the bill.


Two Democrats voted "yes."

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