We’re only a few weeks into the new year, but I’ve already hit the ground running in 2022 to continue fighting for Iowans like you.
In just the past 20 days, I’ve introduced two new bills, hosted a town hall in Red Oak, met with mayors and community leaders from across Iowa’s Third District and met with Iowans in Shenandoah and Glenwood.
Corning was among the first places I visited this year after residents told me about issues they were having with their local post office.
The Corning Post Office temporarily closed last summer, much to residents’ surprise. They weren’t sure how long the post office was going to be closed or where they should go to receive services.
So many people rely on their local post office to keep their small businesses running, to receive lifesaving medications and to keep in contact with their family and friends. When a post office shuts down – even temporarily – it shouldn’t be a surprise to the people who use it.
That’s why I introduced the Postal Suspension Transparency Act, which would create a new website that lists which post offices are closed, why they are closed, how long they are estimated to be closed and where customers can receive services.
This legislation would help ensure post office customers will never be caught off guard again by a post office closure.
My recent travels also led me to the Shenandoah Medical Center in order to discuss the facility’s most urgent needs as doctors, nurses and staff continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and a surge in cases as the Omicron variant spreads.
I hosted my first Connect With Your Congresswoman town hall of 2022 at the Montgomery County YMCA in Red Oak. It was the 73rd town hall I have hosted as the Representative of Iowa’s Third District.
The Town Hall Project named me the most accessible freshman member of the U.S. House of Representatives during my first term in Congress because I held more town hall events than any other freshman member in 2019.
I enjoy hosting town halls because they give me the opportunity to fill folks in on where Congress is at on some vital legislation.
In Red Oak, we spent time talking about the expanded Child Tax Credit – which last year brought nearly $1 billion in tax breaks to Iowa’s middle-class families.
I also spent some time recently in Des Moines and Council Bluffs, where I met with mayors and city officials to talk about all the ways Iowa will benefit from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
The legislation will provide more than $5 billion to help Iowa rebuild its roads, expand connectivity with high-speed internet, remove lead pipes to create safer, cleaner drinking water and provide money to improve public transportation.
The bipartisan infrastructure law will also give Iowa more than $432 million over the next five years to spend on bridge repairs.
Iowa has 4,571 bridges that are classified as structurally deficient, the most of any state in the nation.
While I’m excited to see how much this new legislation helps Iowans in the future, I am also happy to see that a bipartisan bill I helped get signed into law back in 2020 is now helping Iowans receive the care they need following a medical emergency.
The No Surprises Act, which went into effect on the first of this year, prevents people from receiving surprise medical bills, including care provided in an emergency and transportation by air ambulances.
This legislation was inspired in part by a woman in Indianola, whose daughter was in a car accident and had to be transferred by air ambulance to a hospital in Des Moines.
Despite her daughter’s needing urgent and complex care, she was billed $42,000 for a 20-minute ride because the air ambulance service was out-of-network.
This new law also prevents patients from receiving surprise medical bills from out-of-network health providers at an in-network facility.
I’m proud to have voted for this legislation because during an emergency, no Iowan should have to have their care interrupted to worry about whether their insurance will later cover the care they receive.
This year is off to a good start, but I am excited to share what else I’m working on this year and to continue to seeing these big investments in Iowa pay off.
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.