- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 5, 2020

Rep. Cindy Axne, Iowa Democrat, implored the Trump administration and Congress to get back to negotiating a comprehensive coronavirus relief deal and pass it before the end of the year. 

“With two months remaining in the 116th Congress, I urge you to act swiftly to reach a full agreement to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and provide relief to Americans who are suffering from the economic fallout,” Ms. Axne wrote in a letter to President Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “Anyone who has experienced the winter in Iowa knows that heat is not optional, and we must help pay heating and utility bills to save lives.”

“There is no campaigning left to distract and detract from negotiations; Americans cannot wait longer for aid,” she continued.

The letter comes just a day after Ms. Axne, part of that 2018 wave that flipped red seats blue, held onto her seat in a competitive election. The freshman congresswoman won her race by about 6,000 votes or 49% to her Republican challenger David Young’s 47.6%.

While Ms. Axne kept her seat, fellow freshman Rep. Abby Finkenauer, who was also part of that 2018 blue wave, lost her seat to Republican Ashley Hinson.

Another competitive Iowa race in its 2nd District, left open by departing Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack, has not yet been called, but Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks is leading Democrat Rita Hart by only a few hundred votes, according to The Associated Press.

Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, and Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin raced to reach a deal in October before the election, but the talks collapsed yet again with core issues — including funding for state and local governments, liability protections and school safety — still without a compromise.

The White House was offering around $1.9 trillion, and Democrats had a $2.2 trillion proposal, but Senate Republicans were highly skeptical of spending anything more than $1 trillion.

Both Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. McConnell, Kentucky Republican, have said they want to get a stimulus deal done as soon as possible.

“We need another rescue package,” Mr. McConnell said Wednesday, a day after winning reelection himself. “Hopefully, the partisan passions that prevented us from doing another rescue package will subside with the election, and I think we need to do it, and I think we need to do it before the end of the year.”

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