My goal in Congress has always been to save folks money wherever I can, and I took two significant steps to try and help Iowa’s families in recent weeks.
This past week, I voted with my colleagues in the House to cap the out-of-pocket price of insulin at $35 per month in order to make this life-saving medication more affordable and accessible.
I have heard heartbreaking stories from Iowans living with diabetes about the crushing cost of insulin.
Folks who are paying $1,000 or more a month for their life-saving medication have told me they are rationing insulin or skipping meals so they can pay for their medication. That’s unacceptable.
No one should have to go into debt over something they literally need to survive.
Iowa families aren’t just feeling the squeeze at the pharmacy counter. They’re also feeling the impact of rising gas prices each time they fill up, which is why I also sent a letter to President Biden last week urging him to make sure E15 is available year-round.
This will not only help alleviate America’s pain at the pump, but it will also maximize carbon reductions from biofuels and create more opportunities in rural Iowa.
Making E15 more readily available across this country is even more important following a court case last July that ruled the EPA did not have the authority to allow year-round E15 — meaning fuel retailers won’t be able to offer E15 to consumers from June 1 to Sept. 15.
I disagreed with that ruling, and I quickly worked to introduce a legislative fix with my bipartisan colleagues on the House Biofuels Caucus.
Now, as we see higher gas prices after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, I’m asking President Biden to use emergency authorities to avoid a potential energy crisis and reduce gas prices at the pump.
E15 is at least 10 cents cheaper per gallon, and upholding the volume requirements that the Renewable Fuel Standard sets would add to the nation’s fuel supply, lower prices at the pump and reduce the cost of nearly every consumer good that moves along the supply chain.
Over the last decade, wholesale ethanol has saved consumers 17% compared to wholesale gasoline, and a nationwide shift to E15 could collectively save U.S. consumers more than $12 billion annually.
I know how much rising prices are affecting Iowans because my own family and I have been feeling it as well.
I’m committed to lowering prices for everyone, which is why I’m continuing to work on my Supply Chains Solutions Agenda to boost domestic manufacturing, alleviate bottlenecks in the supply chain and address labor shortages.
I’m proud to share the good news that one piece of my agenda is headed to the President’s desk.
The bipartisan Ocean Shipping Reform Act, which will help fix congestion at our ports, passed the Senate on the last day of March.
I am hopeful Congress will pass the America COMPETES Act soon, which will include $52 billion to boost semiconductor manufacturing here in America and invest in domestic manufacturing of critical components in our supply chains, much like in the Supply Chain Resiliency Act I introduced earlier this year.
I have more on my Supply Chain Solutions Agenda that I want to accomplish, but finalizing these two pieces of the legislation will be a key step in supporting American jobs and lowering prices for both businesses and consumers.
I will continue to find common-sense solutions to help drive down prices for Iowans and encourage my colleagues to do what’s right for our state.
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.