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Axne, Finkenauer Sworn In, Vote To Re-Open Federal Government

John Pemble / IPR file
Democratic U.S. Reps. Cindy Axne (left) and Abby Finkenauer

Iowa’s first two congresswomen were sworn into office Thursday in Washington D.C. and one of their first votes in the U.S. House of Representatives was to re-open the government. U.S. Reps. Abby Finkenauer and Cindy Axne defeated Republican incumbents in November.

As of Friday, the federal government has been partially shut down for 13 days because of President Donald Trump’s call for funding a wall along the U.S. southern border. 

“I think this first vote is very symbolic of this new class and certainly of this new session,”  Axne says. “I absolutely believe we should secure our borders and we need immigration reform but we can protect our country with methods like more border security and drones.”

Axne says those methods would be more effective and fiscally responsible.

In a statement, Finkenauer says the two parties should negotiate and work together.

“But it should never mean TSA officials are protecting us without pay,” Finkenauer says. “Or that farmers can’t turn to the Farm Services Agency.”

With the swearing-in of Axne and Finkenauer, three of Iowa’s four representatives in the U.S. House are now Democrats.

Both Finkenauer and Axne voted for Nancy Pelosi to retake the position of Speaker of the House.

Axne represents Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District which includes Des Moines, Council Bluffs and southwest Iowa. Finkenauer represents Iowa’s 1st Congressional District which includes Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, Waterloo and northeast Iowa.

Clay Masters is Iowa Public Radio’s Morning Edition host and lead political reporter.