Government

Finkenauer named to House Transportation Committee, Axne to serve on Ag Committee

Democratic congressional candidate Cindy Axne reacts while appearing at her midterm election night party in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S. November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Scott Morgan
Democratic congressional candidate Cindy Axne reacts while appearing at her midterm election night party in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S. November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Scott Morgan
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Iowa 1st District Rep. Abby Finkenauer has landed a seat on the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and 3rd District Rep. Cindy Axne will serve on the Agriculture Committee.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced the appointment of the two newly elected Democrats.

When House GOP leadership earlier this week took away Rep. Steve King’s committee appointments, it marked the first time since 1899 that Iowa, the nation’s top farm state, would not have had a representative on the House Ag Committee.

Because of the importance of agriculture to Iowa, Axne asked House leadership to sit on two committees. She also will serve on the Financial Services Committee.

The House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee recommended Finkenauer — who served on the Iowa House Transportation Committee for three years while a state representative — be named to the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

It is one of the largest House committees with more than 50 members. It has jurisdiction over all modes of transportation, including aviation, waterborne, highways, bridges, railroads and mass transit.

Finkenauer, of Dubuque, said she was pleased with the appointment because she’s heard concerns from constituents about “Iowa’s crumbling infrastructure.”

“Our small businesses and farms rely on C-minus graded roads to reach consumers,” she said. “Our neighborhoods and businesses in Cedar Rapids remain vulnerable a decade after the devastating flood. I’m looking forward to working on bipartisan legislation that makes a smart investment in our future and creates good-paying jobs.”

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The committee also has jurisdiction over clean water and wastewater management, pipelines, flood damage reduction, the management of federally owned real estate and public buildings, the development of economically depressed rural and urban areas, disaster preparedness and response, and hazardous materials transportation.

Transportation and Infrastructure has broad jurisdiction over the Department of Transportation, the U.S. Coast Guard, Amtrak, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Economic Development Administration, Army Corps of Engineers, and other agencies.

l Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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