DES MOINES, IOWA — An issue discussed by Iowa Republicans over the last couple of years is set to see a formal debate on the House floor this week.

House File 2416 is the House version of the bill that would require transgender athletes in the state to participate in sports according to their gender at birth. This bill specifically includes only K-12 schools, while the Senate version stretches out to colleges and universities.

Speaker of the House Pat Grassley, a Republican representative from New Hartford, said an amendment will likely be added during the debate so both chambers are on the same side.

“Other states that have passed similar language to this have beyond just K-12 in their language,” Grassley said. “I think that would be consistent for us as far as a state to continue to do.”

Grassley added that he wants to have the House bill fall in line with the Senate so Gov. Kim Reynolds can get the bill on her desk. With the bill slated for debate on the House debate calendar for Monday, there could be an answer soon as to how far this potential law will extend.

The bills are already inspiring criticism from groups within the state, who claim this is not a relevant issue in Iowa.

“These situations are not even coming up. This bill, the House bill as well as the Senate bill, is a solution in search of a problem,” said Becky Smith, the Executive Director of Iowa Safe Schools. “We do not have documented cases in Iowa of students who are saying they are transgender to gain a competitive advantage.”

Smith said excluding transgender athletes results in negative effects on their mental health.

House Democratic leaders also say they do not agree with either version of the bill.

“The difference between the House and Senate bill is that the Senate bill seems to discriminate and bully more people than the House bill does,” said State Representative Jennifer Konfrst, (D)–Windsor Heights. “Either way, the bill is terrible. Either bill is unfair and wrong. There is no compromise between these two bills that would be fair or not bullying kids.”

Iowa Republicans have struggled to name specific examples where transgender athletes are taking over female sports in the state, but there are several transgender athletes who have competed in the past.

There are just under 10 bills that could end up being debated tomorrow according to the Iowa Legislature’s website. If the House Republican Caucus agrees on their version, it is likely it would see the debate floor on Monday.