This month I voted with a bipartisan majority of my colleagues to pass a federal funding bill that included money for nine community projects to help provide cleaner drinking water, rebuild bridges, expand childcare centers and much more in Iowa’s Third Congressional District.
These community projects will benefit everyone, and the requests for funding these projects were sent to me directly by cities, counties and nonprofit organizations that didn’t have the resources to complete them on their own.
Requests for funding ranged from helping expand de-icing capabilities at the Des Moines International Airport to replacing a county bridge in Warren County to expanding the Stanton Child Resource Center and the Ringgold Child Care Center in Mount Ayr.
Money will also go toward extending and connecting sewer systems in Johnston, building a pedestrian bridge to connect Raccoon River Park and Walnut Woods State Park in West Des Moines, expanding an affordable housing project in Council Bluffs, making upgrades at Creston City Water Works and purchasing dental equipment to improve low-income dental services offered by Primary Health Care Inc. in Des Moines.
I hope that these projects show that my colleagues and I in Washington, D.C., are working for them and that we care what happens here in Iowa.
There were several other important pieces included in the federal funding bill, such as humanitarian, military and economic support for Ukraine.
As Russia continues its unprovoked war in Ukraine, America and our allies need to continue both supporting Ukraine and cutting economic ties with Russia through sanctions and blocking access to American assets for Russian leaders and oligarchs.
The federal funding bill included a long list of items that will directly benefit Iowa, including $1 billion to expand rural broadband, $1.45 billion to repair rural water and wastewater systems, $3.9 billion for police department grants and a pay raise for members of the military.
My Rural Maternal and Obstetric Modernization of Services (Rural MOMS) Act was also signed into law with the federal funding bill. It will help address the growing disparity in maternal mortality rates in rural and urban areas by investing in grants and technology to address unmet maternal health needs in rural America
Iowa ranks 49th in the nation for the number of practicing OB/GYNs with only 1.49 doctors per 10,000 women in the state. Most of these doctors practice in larger cities. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the national maternal mortality rate in rural areas was more than 60% higher than the rate in large metropolitan areas.
Iowans looking to start a family shouldn’t face unnecessary barriers to care based solely on where they choose to live, so I’m proud to have seen this legislation through.
I’m also proud of the work we’ve done on the federal funding bill that will help create good-paying jobs, bolster rural development, and build new homes — all of which are priorities of mine.
I’m working now to ensure everyone knows how and when this money will be distributed and to make sure the folks who need it most have access to the funds and so Iowans get their fair share — especially when it comes to expanding rural broadband and fixing up water treatment plants.
I am glad I was able to secure this money for Iowa, and I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish with these critical investments.
Rep. Cindy Axne of West Des Moines represents Iowa’s Third Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. She can be reached at 202-225-5476.