Center for American Progress Action

RELEASE: CAP Action Memo: 4 Major Promises to Iowa Working Families Trump Broke
Press Release

RELEASE: CAP Action Memo: 4 Major Promises to Iowa Working Families Trump Broke

Washington, D.C. — Today, President Donald Trump will travel to Council Bluffs, Iowa, where he will give remarks at Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy before heading to a private political fundraiser in West Des Moines. At repeated stops in the state during the 2016 presidential campaign and from the White House, President Trump has made sweeping promises to Iowa families that he continues to break. Here are four of the worst:

Promise: “We can repeal and replace Obamacare and save health care for every family in Iowa.” -President Trump, Sioux City, Iowa, November 6, 2016


  • President Trump’s ongoing efforts to sabotage and eliminate the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would result in 1.3 million Iowans with preexisting conditions to lose their protections.
  • Without a viable alternative to the ACA, 187,000 Iowans would lose their health coverage, increasing the state’s uninsured rate by 126 percent.
  • In his attempts to undermine the ACA, President Trump expanded options for short-term, noncomprehensive plans, while the Republican-controlled Congress stripped the ACA of vital resources to provide tax cuts to corporations and the wealthiest Americans. These moves to sabotage the health care millions of Americans rely on will cost the average Iowa family $4,590 in premium increases this year alone.

Promise: “Prosperity will rise, poverty will recede, and wages will finally begin to grow and they will grow rapidly.” -President Trump, Clive, Iowa, September 13, 2016


  • The Trump administration discarded a rule that ensured workers received fair pay for overtime hours, costing Iowans $18 million in lost overtime wages.
  • As the administration rolled back protections for overtime pay, President Trump eliminated a rule protecting retirees from predatory financial advisers, costing Iowans more than $295 million in lost retirement savings.
  • The Trump administration has sought to weaken standards on fuel efficiency and climate pollution, which would cost Iowans more than $78 million at the gas pump.
  • All told, President Trump’s elimination of protections for workers, retirees, and the everyday consumer to benefit corporations and the wealthy would cost Iowans more than $301 million.

Promise: “We’re lowering the hell out of taxes for the middle class.” -President Trump, Ottumwa, Iowa, January 9, 2016


  • 83 percent of President Trump’s tax cuts went to the top 1 percent.
  • The harmful tax cuts passed by the Trump administration and Congress caused 188,000 Iowan families to pay more or the same in taxes last year, while the richest 1 percent of Iowans received 25 percent of the cuts provided.
  • The average tax cut for the wealthiest 1 percent in Iowa totals $43,060, while the average tax cut for the bottom 80 percent amounts to $750.

Promise: “We’re going to negotiate trade deals to help protect our farmers, help them export their goods, and make money doing it.” -President Trump, Des Moines, Iowa, September 13, 2016


  • Farm bankruptcies nearly doubled in Iowa from 2017 to 2018, while prices are expected to continue dropping as a direct, negative result of Trump’s erratic trade policies.
  • Midwest farmers are going broke faster than they did during the 2008 financial collapse.
  • Iowa farms have faced up to 2.2 billion in trade losses as a result of Trump’s erratic trade policies, affecting employment and crucial sectors such as manufacturing.
  • While Iowa lost more than 600 hog farms between 2012 and 2017, the Trump administration decided to kill the Farmer Fair Practices Rules that protected small farms from exploitative practices and retaliation by meat monopolies.
  • The short-term federal aid Trump has promised farmers affected by his erratic trade policies continues to enrich multinational corporations such as JBS S.A., a Brazilian company that received more than $62 million in government contracts, while the company raked in $273 million in profits in the first quarter of 2019.
  • Iowan farmers who need relief from Trump’s erratic trade policies aren’t receiving the support they need. In fact, the top 10 percent of relief recipients received 68 percent of all aid. In contrast, more than 100 payments to smaller Iowa farmers were worth less than $25.

For more information on this topic or to talk to an expert, please contact Jesse Lee at [email protected] or 202-741-6350.