Photo credit: Ron Cogswell (CC-By-2.0)
Photo credit: Ron Cogswell (CC-By-2.0)

2018 is quickly passing by and it’s important to reflect on our accomplishments as a community and country, and continue to strive towards improvements for Iowa. 

The first half of 2018 has been busy and productive. I’ve been working hard on behalf of my bosses – the folks of Iowa’s Third District. I wanted to take a moment to report to you on just some of my work so far this year.

Iowans have started to see and feel the benefits from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Unemployment is lower than it has been in a decade, wages are increasing, businesses are investing, and as Iowans are experiencing the tax relief they deserve, consumer sentiment is the second highest since 2004. And, just announced on Friday, last quarter’s GDP growth was an impressive 4.1%. 

On February 26th, President Trump signed into law my bill, the Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act. This bill helps ensure Iowans in rural areas have the same communications capabilities as folks in urban areas and makes sure families and businesses can be connected to one another. 

In March, Congress extended funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program for 10 years and Community Health Centers for two years. I had been working since last fall to renew these critical programs, leading letters, meeting with advocates, speaking on the floor of the House of Representatives, and pushing Congressional leadership to extend this critical funding for these programs. 

In April, my Democrat colleague from Maine, Representative Chellie Pingree, and I started the Food Waste Caucus. This caucus brings bipartisan members of Congress together with those from the non-profit, private, and public sectors to discover and advance solutions on how we can all work together to reduce food waste and help feed those who are hungry.

Also in the spring, my bills, the WATER Act and the STRESS Act were included in the House’s Farm Bill. The WATER Act will help with water quality and soil health. And the STRESS Act will help bring much needed mental health services to farmers and others involved in agriculture production. 

Just a couple weeks ago, in order to help Environmental Protection Agency Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler learn about the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), I brought the Iowa Congressional Delegation together to formally invite him to Iowa and meet with those directly impacted. Wheeler should talk with those at ethanol and biodiesel plants, with farmers, producers, consumers, truckers, and businesses that make the RFS work. They are the ones who make the home-grown energy which reduces our dependence on foreign oil, promotes a cleaner environment, and helps our rural economy.

Legislation I introduce and the goals I set are driven by you – the people of the Third District. As I continue to serve Iowa for the remainder of this legislative session, I will fight to make sure the government is working for you – not the other way around.

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