Growing up in the small town of Sherrill, just outside of Dubuque, I was fortunate to be part of a state and a country where we were promised that if you worked hard, you could make it. I’m the daughter of a union pipefitter-welder and a public school employee — a first-generation college graduate who still is paying off my student loans. But the Iowa that I was raised in stood for opportunity, fairness, and the promise that you didn’t have to start out ahead to lead a good life.
Today, Washington has broken that promise — and it’s time we restore it.
A lot of politicians won elections in 2016 by talking about how working people had been forgotten, but here’s the truth: A lot of them didn’t mean it. They were just looking to get votes from frustrated people who were tired of business as usual.
And, when they got to Washington, here’s what they did: They gave a massive tax cut to corporations and the richest Americans. To do it, they blew a $1.9 trillion hole in the deficit, putting Medicare and Social Security at risk. Working families were an afterthought. As a result, many of the folks working the hardest in this country still haven’t seen their take-home pay rise.
That’s not how any of this should work.
I’m running for Congress because this is personal to me. My friends, my family, my neighbors and my community need a champion who is going to have their backs and fight for the things that matter to us: better-paying jobs, affordable health care, rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, and good schools for our kids.
I won’t be afraid to work to add a public option to the Affordable Care Act so we can reduce health care premiums while increasing choices and competition. I’ll fight to let Medicare negotiate with prescription drug companies so we can get a better deal. I’ll lead the charge to pass an infrastructure bill that invests in our roads, bridges and waterways to strengthen our economy. I’ll make sure we expand apprenticeship and job training programs so our workers have access to the skills they need to take the next step in their career.
And I’ll be willing to work with anyone, regardless of party, to get it done.
It’s time we had a representative who will make Washington remember the working people they forgot.
• Abby Finkenauer is the Democratic candidate in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District.
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• Troy Hageman, Libertarian, provided no column