AgriTalk: Axne Says Its Time to Narrow the Divide in DC

02:10PM Feb 13, 2020
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The tension between Republicans and Democrats in Washington, DC is getting old. And Americans are simply getting tired of it, said host Chip Flory on AgriTalk. 

Is there a chance that we can find a way to narrow the divide between the two parties in DC? Flory asked Rep. Cindy Axne (D-Iowa) on Tuesday’s show.

“I absolutely think we can. And I couldn't agree with you more,” Axne said. “We're all just so tired of it. And as a matter of fact, I think Iowa is poised to be a leader when it comes to this.”

Axne said she has written multiple bills with Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) from dealing with Iowa’s flood issues in their recent levy bill to working on children's health care issues.

“I think that there's a lot of opportunity for us to find bipartisan movement on issues,” she said. 

Her first bill that she co-sponsored in the House was with Rep Virginia Fox (R-N.C.).

“She came up to me and said, ‘I heard you're interested in putting more money back into our local communities.’ I was about two weeks in. I thought, I don't know who you are, but you're absolutely right. Let's do this thing,” Axne said.

Coming from a purple state, Axne believes Iowa can help lead the charge to closing the gap between the two parties.

“I think Iowans are truly some of the people who are really focused on making this happen,” Axne said.  “First and foremost, I've worked for both Democrat and Republican administration starting under Governor Vilsack and ending under Governor Branstad. And you know what? We were able to do it at a state level.”

She believes Iowa brings that spirit to DC. 

“If it takes Iowa to set the standard for this darn country, I think our moms would be proud. So that's what I'm going to continue to do,” she said. 

A Focus on Infrastructure
In addition to her recent work to get Protecting America’s Food and Agriculture Act passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, Axne is focusing on getting an infrastructure bill passed this year. 

“We're going to be pushing one out of the House that includes rural broadband. That's going to be coming out, hopefully within the next couple of months, to make sure that we have an opportunity to get broadband out across states like Iowa where we have a lot of connectivity issues,” Axne said. 

She said this bill will not only help rural communities be more successful, but she believes it will help farmers be able to implement precision agriculture in the way that they would like to.

“It certainly gives us greater opportunity to use technology to help benefit our farmers and our industry as a whole. That’s coming down the pike and I’m really grateful that we’re making that move forward,” she said.

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