As I drive across Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District to meet with my bosses in our sixteen counties, I cross bridges in need of repair, roads under construction, and utility lines being replaced. When I’m in the more rural parts of the district, just like others, I sometimes have difficulty connecting with others over the phone because of poor phone service. And I hear from families who don’t have reliable internet at home or at their small business.
Many Iowans share with me the need for infrastructure improvements across the Third District. And their concerns spread from our roads and bridges to our rail lines, and access to the internet.
In Congress, I’ve been working to deliver solutions to our infrastructure problems. Fortunately, my bipartisan bill, the Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act, was signed into law by President Trump. It will put an end to looped, dropped, and unreliable phone service many Iowans in rural parts of the state experience. When families and small businesses can’t even complete phone calls, we can’t compete in the growing economy and families can’t stay connected with their loved ones.
I’ve helped speed up the implementation of rural broadband so Iowans living in rural areas can have the same access to online resources as Iowans in urban areas. Earlier this year, I supported a $620 million expansion of rural broadband funding which will help our unserved areas.
As Iowa’s only voice on the Appropriations Committee, I’m delivering results to make sure Iowans’ federal tax dollars return to our great state to help our communities. For example, I worked to help the Southwest Iowa Rural Electric Coop secure a $6.1 million loan to improve or install nearly 170 miles of transmission line.
Projects like this are happening across the Third District and more are on the way. I’ve been appointed to serve on the conference committee which is negotiating the 2019 annual funding bill for our Transportation and Agriculture Departments. Working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and from different regions of the country, we are ensuring your hard-earned dollars are efficiently and effectively returned to our communities to make them better.
I’ll continue to deliver these solutions and results for Iowa as negotiations continue and new opportunities are presented. Iowans rely on our infrastructure to do business, get products to consumers, and communicate with each other which is why upgrading our infrastructure has been a priority for me in Congress.