ANKENY, Iowa – U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, met with about 40 constituents for her fifth in-person “connect with your congresswoman” woman event held at the Outside Scoop in Ankeny Thursday.
Axne spoke for about eleven minutes. During her remarks, she plugged the child tax credit, noting that she was the only member of Iowa’s congressional delegation to vote for it. In addition, she discussed her work on a pandemic preparedness task force she sits on.
She discussed the debate over the infrastructure program, adding that she wants to see broadband and child care in the bill.
Axne also discussed needs associated with eldercare and making sure every community in Iowa has access to nutritious food.
One constituent asked her about the increases in gas prices and the cost of consumer goods.
“I’ll tell you what, our economy’s on a great track right now. I’m assuming you’re talking about a lot of the false advertisements that are out there. You know what, here’s the deal. They’re comparing any costs against last year. I’d say that we had a few things increase because we were in the middle of COVID-19. So no, I’m not concerned about a false advertisement,” Axne responded.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced last month that the inflation rate rose five percent in May, marking the largest increase in 13 years, and it also marks the biggest jump in core inflation since June of 1992.
The Iowa Torch followed up on that question during a brief press avail she provided before leaving. Axne reiterated what she said during the town hall.
“So what’s happening is inflation is based on year over year. Obviously, last year was a real different year in America. So when you compare any numbers against the previous year, it’s going to look a heck of a lot different. No economists worth their salt has said we’re looking at a long-term inflation problem in any way, shape, or form. What we’re looking at is an economy that’s doing really well. And if we continue to move forward with the jobs and in the training to fill the jobs that really people are looking to get filled, trade schools apprenticeship program for, you know, our construction, jobs, etc. Two-year programming jobs, etc. We’re going to continue to see this economy boom,” she told The Iowa Torch.
She added that based on how they determine the inflation rate, there would be a change due to the pandemic.
Joel Griffith, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, warned that Congress had set the stage for runaway inflation.
“In the coming months, it will be critical for Congress to get federal spending under control and to remove barriers that are keeping workers on the sidelines. It is equally important for the Federal Reserve to normalize monetary policy. The Fed is still operating on a financial-crisis era framework that blurs the lines between fiscal and monetary policy, making it easier to accommodate fiscal recklessness and harder to control future inflation,” he said in a released statement in June.
U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, also recently warned about Congress throwing “gasoline on the inflation fires” with proposed spending bills.
Later during the town hall, responding to a question about the Senate filibuster, Axne also expressed frustration with the procedure that prevented much of the House Democratic agenda from making it to President Joe Biden’s desk.
“We’ve got Republicans in the Senate who don’t want to do the will of this country. Instead of, you know, doing and putting laws into place that actually represent the concerns of the people in this country want to see, they wanted to stop those,” she said.
She added that the filibuster was a tool not mentioned in the Constitution, and the way it has been used has changed over time. Senate Democrats, however, also used the filibuster for their benefit in the past when they were the minority party.
A group of 11 people from Americans for Prosperity (AFP) protesting the infrastructure package greeted those attending the town hall.
“We’re here to spread the message. We’re just hoping that she’ll reject this infrastructure package that Joe Biden continues to push forward. We see that only five to six percent of this bill actually deals with roads and bridges. The rest of it is full of partisan wishlist items and including raising taxes at a historical historic level,” Dustin Rush, AFP’s Iowa grassroots coordinator, told The Iowa Torch.