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House Oversight Committee Launching DHS Review

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DES MOINES, Iowa  --  Iowa House Republicans are launching an investigation into the Department of Human Services in the wake of the death of a West Des Moines teenager despite Governor Branstad's wishes that lawmakers wait on a criminal investigation to be completed.

Rep. Bobby Kaufmann announced Thursday that the House Oversight Committee will conduct a review of DHS to answer lingering questions after the death of 16-year old Natalie Finn.  She died of a heart attack after suffering from starvation in her adoptive home in West Des Moines in October 2016.

Democratic State Senator Matt McCoy has been leading an investigation into DHS in the Senate since January.  Earlier this week Governor Branstad accused him of playing politics with Finn's death by holding hearings before a criminal investigation was complete.

House Republicans say they will not be investigating any particular cases but will instead look at the DHS system and practices and ensure that state funds are being properly used.  Legislative Democrats have said problems in the DHS are due to budget cuts by the Branstad administration that have eliminated hundreds of jobs from the agency.