New Iowan in Congress Abby Finkenauer gets committee assignments, passes first legislation

Rep. Abby Finkenauer, D-Iowa, was elected to represent the 1st Congressional District in November. Now she’s the youngest woman to pass legislation in Congress.


Nick Rohlman

Democratic candidate for Iowa’s first congressional district Abby Finkenauer is greeted by supporters during a watch party at 7 Hills Brewing Company in Dubuque Iowa on Tuesday Nov. 6, 2018. Finkenauer defeated incumbent Republican Rod Blum and, along with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, NY-14, becomes one of the first women under 30 elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Sarah Watson, Politics Editor

Rep. Abby Finkenauer, D-Iowa will begin her tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives on the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which oversees all modes of transportation infrastructure in addition to federal buildings, flood management, and building development.

Finkenauer served on the Iowa House Transportation Committee for her three years in the statehouse. She said Thursday morning she’d like to continue that work.

“I’m looking forward to working on bipartisan legislation that makes a smart investment in our future and creates good-paying jobs,” Finkenauer said in a prepared statement. “We can’t afford to talk about the problem any longer – we have to find common ground and get to work.”

She also passed the first legislation of the incoming freshman class in the House of Representatives, making her the youngest woman to pass legislation.

The bill, co-sponsored by Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, requires senior executives of federal agencies participating in two small business initiatives to do outreach with small businesses participating in those programs.

Those federal programs include the Small Business Innovation Research Program and the Small Business Technology Transfer Program.

“Too often, small businesses—especially rural ones—get locked out of competition for government contracts. This bill ensures that agency procurement officers will be more directly involved in the process, helping small businesses pursue research that lets them compete for these opportunities,” Finkenauer said on the House floor in support of the bill.

Iowa’s other new Democratic representative, Cindy Axne will serve on the House Agriculture Committee and the Financial Services Committee.