Hinson holds Tama County town hall

U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson (center). Photo by Darvin Graham

Congresswoman Ashley Hinson (IA-01) returned to Tama County this week for a town hall meeting. Around 20 members of the public gathered at the Tama Civic Center Tuesday morning for a question and answer session with Hinson who also gave a legislative update on issues and policies at the federal level.

Hinson was introduced by State Rep. Dean Fisher (R-Montour) who sat in to assist with questions pertaining to the state legislature.

In her opening remarks, Hinson said her three top priorities have remained controlling government spending, safety and security of Iowans and Americans and to spotlight concerns and issues affecting rural Iowans.

Several times Hinson pointed towards bipartisan efforts that she’s engaged in while in office as well as concerns or ideals she believes are jointly held between conservatives and liberals.

“It’s my job, obviously, to bring (rural issues) to the forefront and continue to put spotlights on those very important issues that matter to us in the First District,” Hinson said. “Sometimes that involves pushing back on policies that I don’t think are good for this district, that might do more harm than good. But I also think it’s a great opportunity. And we’ve had many of those occasions, to work together on priorities that are right for this district. So we’ve crossed the aisle to make sure some of those priorities are getting done. Whenever possible, finding that common ground, to make sure again, we’re making sure Iowa has a seat at the table.”

Hinson briefly touched upon a number of national topics including the recent military withdrawal from Afghanistan, concerns of border security with Mexico and criticism of the federal infrastructure bill passed by the Senate earlier this month.

Hinson also highlighted a bill she co-sponsored with Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) and the rest of Iowa’s House delegation called the Sgt. Ketchum Rural Veterans’ Mental Health Act. The bill, which was signed into law this month, seeks to fund and establish three new centers for the VA’s Rural Access Network for Growth Enhancement program, which helps provide access for veterans in rural areas to mental health services. A study will also be done on the VA’s capacity to serve the mental health needs of rural veterans.

After a speech that lasted around 20 minutes, Hinson spent the remaining part of the hour taking questions from the audience.

Several of the issues brought up centered around the economy.

Cordt Holub from Buckingham commented about his concerns that legislative efforts at the federal level may negatively impact the tax relief some families, particularly family farmers, use when inheriting assets between generations.

Jim Little from Tama encouraged Hinson to stand firm in opposing what he believed was wasteful and harmful spending happening in the most recent $3.5 trillion budget bill passed by the U.S. House.

Little said he was concerned that Congress was destroying the dollar by adding personal-interest projects or items onto things like the 2021 budget bill while not accounting for the money still owed to pay for Social Security benefits and military pensions.