Congressman Dave Loebsack sat down with Newton Daily News Wednesday to talk about his plan for the remainder of his term and his desire to seek reelection in 2018. Representing Iowa’s 2nd Congressional district, the professor emeritus at Cornell College who calls Mount Vernon home, pledged to keep fighting for Iowans.
In his sixth term in the House of Representatives, Loebsack said he’s still focusing on the economy, which is what first led him to run for office. This month, while Congress is out on a work session, Loebsack has been touring his district to meet with voters, including a stop in Jasper County Monday. For Loebsack, hitting the road to meet with voters is one of the most important parts of his job.
“I want to meet people where they live, work and play, and engage folks,” Loebsack said.
While visiting with constituents in his district, Loebsack said his focus will continue to be on the needs of Iowans, including tackling issues like the current drought Iowa farmers are facing. Loebsack said he’s made the 2018 farm bill a priority and pledged to work to retain crop insurance for farmers, something that’s critical in drought years, where farmers can see yields drop by more than half.
Loebsack said that he’s focusing on the economy because that’s what he hears when he talks to voters. Part of that focus includes upgrading the infrastructure of Iowa’s rural areas to make sure that they can meet the demands of business.
One of the biggest issues for Loebsack is to push to make sure broadband internet continues to spread throughout the state, connecting more and more rural areas.
“Rural broadband is very very important for communities, especially for communities that have lost business over the years,” he said. “The top question a business has is often what kind of bandwidth do you have, without that it’s often difficult for them to do business.”
Improving access to broadband internet for rural Iowans will also expand opportunities for students Loebsack said. It will make it easier for them to complete homework assignments, and do research, as well as providing opportunities for them to expand their knowledge beyond their local communities.
With American Wind Week starting next week, Loebsack said he’s also going to continue to focus on making Iowa a leader in renewable energy. He promised he’d continue to fight for ethanol, as well as pushing wind energy to make sure the more than 7,000 jobs in the wind industry in the state continue to exist.
“It all comes back to the economy, as far as I’m concerned,” Loebsack said.
Fixing the Affordable Care Act is also a priority for Loebsack going into 2018. While he’s willing to admit the bill is flawed, Loebsack said he wants to remain committed to ensuring Iowans have readily available access to affordable health care in their communities.
While acknowledging he plans to run again in 2018, Loebsack said he hopes to hold off on campaigning as long as he can. With a 1.4 million dollar war chest, six terms under his belt, Loebsack said he wants to continue to focus on meeting with Iowans and working towards their interests.
“I’d prefer the later the better,” Loebsack said. “I want to keep doing my job, meeting with people and talking to them.”
Contact David Dolmage at 641-792-3121 ext. 6532 or firstname.lastname@example.org