In November, Democrats flipped two of Iowa’s four seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. One of those seats is now occupied by Abby Finkenauer of Iowa's 1st District. On November 6th, 2018, Finkenauer became the second-youngest woman to ever be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives behind Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
As well as being one of the youngest women elected to Congress, Finkenauer and Congresswoman Cindy Axne of Iowa's 3rd district became the first women from Iowa elected to the House of Representatives.
"To be on the floor of the U.S. House during the State of the Union was an honor," says Finkenauer. "To wear suffragette white in honor of the women who about a hundred years ago fought like heck for our right to vote, and now our right to sit there as congresswomen, was a true honor."
On this segment of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Congresswoman Finkenauer about her priorities, the Green New Deal, the impasse over border security, abortion, and questions from 1st District constituents about Medicare-for-all.
Now that she's in Washington, Finkenauer wants to reach across the aisle to create real progress on issues ranging from transportation infrastructure to climate change. In particular, she sees healthcare as a major priority.
"Every single person in this country deserves care. Healthcare is a right and not a privilege, and I 100 percent believe that. We have to make sure we stop playing politics with this issue, especially in the next two years," Finkenauer says.
After just two weeks in office, Finkenauer passed a bipartisan bill that she worked with Congressman John Curtis from Utah to create. The bill, Stimulating Innovation through Procurement Act of 2019, will bring federal investment to small businesses in rural America.
As her term continues, Finkenauer says she will continue to prioritize the issues that impact Iowans most.
"My job is to make sure that their voices are heard, and that means getting to work and working across the aisle where you can and finding that common ground. I am hopeful, and that's something I look forward to continuing to do for the next few years."