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Abby Finkenauer discusses main priorities in run for re-election in TV9 one-on-one

Published: Oct. 14, 2020 at 6:18 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Election Day is less than three weeks away now and Iowans in the first congressional district, representing Waterloo, Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, and northeast Iowa, will be deciding whom they want to represent them.

KCRG-TV9 sat down in a one-on-one interview with Congresswoman Abby Finkeanuer about what work she wants to continue in Washington.

Born and raised in Cheryl, Iowa, Finkenauer said she wants to keep serving the place she calls home.

“Growing up, we were told it wasn’t supposed to be easy, but we were told if you work hard you could make it and when there was work to be done you say yes, and do it. That to me has always driven my life whether in public service, in the State House or in Congress the past two years," Finkenauer said.

If re-elected, Finkenauer said one of her main priorities will be focusing on is ways to stimulate the economy as we come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, and said investing in infrastructure is the best way.

In the 2015 Iowa infrastructure report card, roadways received a C- rating from the American Society of Civil Engineers, and bridges received a D+, with one in five Iowa bridges considered structurally deficient.

“Infrastructure is one of the best return on investments we have to do that, and so it’s passing a package that again isn’t just showing up for our cities but actually getting those dollars into our smaller towns as well. Some of those provisions that I will continue to fight for got passed through the House as part of our infrastructure package like the ‘Helping Communities Invest in Infrastructure Act’, which would take some of the red tape away from our smaller communities where they wouldn’t have to worry about whether it’s fees for accessing those grants and they’d also get technical assistance as well," Finkenauer said.

Finkenauer said President Donald Trump’s recent decision to postpone stimulus talks until after the election was disheartening, but she says she intends to keep pushing for a package that includes more funding for testing number one, as well as economic impact payments, and rental assistance.

“It doesn’t make sense as the United States of America that we are this far into the pandemic and there’s still a lag on available testing," Finkenauer said. “The biggest thing for me is making sure that we find a way to come through this pandemic in the right way, but then at the same time not just stimulate our economy but actually get through this so that’s more funding for testing, making sure our schools have what they need, making sure our essential workforce have what they need, PPE you name it.”

In an Iowa PBS debate with opponent Ashley Hinson last month, Finkenauer said there are priorities that need to be met regardless of cost, such as city and county funding and hazard pay for essential workers.

On top of an already unprecedented year putting a strain on families, much of the first congressional district is still recovering from the August 10th derecho. Finkenauer says making sure Iowans that need help have access to FEMA is essential and adds she is urging the governor to extend the deadline to get FEMA assistance.

“Whether it’s folks still having insecure issues when it comes to housing that were still trying to address. We’re staying on top of FEMA on that and also the state as well continuing to push and ask what is the long term solution here or at least the short term solution as were getting to Winter as well,” Finkenauer said.

Watch the extended interview with Rep. Abby Finkenauer below:

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