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Third District Congresswoman Cindy Axne (D) made a brief stop in Ringgold County Saturday morning when she addressed about two dozen people at the Hawkins Hideaway Shelterhouse at Poe Hollow Park.
Axne updated constituents on her work in Washington, stressing she is working to represent all of the people of the district.
“I want to meet the needs of everyone, whether they have a D, an R or a L behind their name,” said Axne. I want to be a voice for people who didn’t always have a voice.”
Axne highlighted work she says she has concentrated on such as flood relief, social security and veteran’s issues. She said she is working hard on rural health care issues and mentioned the house passed bill to lower the cost of prescription drugs.
“We have to stop Big Pharma from keeping generic drugs from coming to the marketplace,” she said.
She also said health care reform needs to continue but did not come out for support of “Medicare For All”.
“We do need a public option, but we also need to keep private insurance options, as well,” she said.
She also offered support for house passed bills to get big money out of politics and address climate change.
Trade issues took up a large part of the meeting as Axne said she believes Democrats and Republicans are getting close to agreeing on the USMCA bill which will replace NAFTA. She said the agriculture components of the new trade bill are good. Remaining issues to be ironed out include labor and environmental requirements in the agreement. She said she hoped the new agreement can be voted on yet this fall.
“We need to get it done for our farmers,” she said.
Responding to a question from the audience, she said that the ethanol waivers granted to a number of refiners by the EPA make no sense and has asked for an investigation as to why they were granted.
Responding to a question on climate change, Axne said there is a select committee in the house working on the issue. She said flooding is getting worse due to climate change and that it is an issue that has to be addressed.
Axne also said that big companies like Facebook and Amazon are hurting small business. She suggested that the government look at how those type of large companies are structuring their businesses and how that effects small businesses trying to compete with them.