MOLINE, Ill. — Iowa voters will head to the polls for the 2022 midterm elections on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
Two years ago, Iowa's 1st district (previously known as the state's 2nd district) ended in the closest congressional race in the country. Just six votes separated Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R) from her opponent. This year, both Miller-Meeks and her challenger, Christina Bohannan (D), are looking to widen that gap for themselves.
The winner will represent most of central and southeastern Iowa in the U.S. House of Representatives.
News 8 sat down with both candidates, to discuss their most important policy points and why they believe you should vote for them. Below, we have each candidate's complete, unedited interview. You can also view the full version of both interviews on our Youtube page.
Please note, the above video is a shorter version of their answers and has been edited down for time.
We begin with Christina Bohannan, whose last name comes first alphabetically.
SHELBY KLUVER: Let's say you win on November 8, what are the three or four most important topics at the top of your mind when you walk into Congress?
CHRISTINA BOHANNAN: My priorities will always be determined by what I'm hearing from people in the district. They're not my priorities, per se, I don't have you know, an agenda that I bring into this.
But as I've been going all over Southeast Iowa, you know, I've been hearing from working families and what they're facing. And a lot of that has to do with costs-- high costs of energy, gas, you know, groceries, you know, all of those kinds of things. And I see that certainly when I go to the grocery store as well.
And then healthcare is a big issue for a lot of people and economic opportunity. So jobs, you know, bringing really good paying jobs here, we have a lot of low wages and benefits here in Iowa relative to other parts of the country. And so we need to make sure that we're competitive here, so we can bring good people here.
That really resonates with me, and I get that. When I was growing up, I grew up in a trailer off of a dirt road - neither of my parents graduated high school. My dad was a construction worker and he worked really long hours in the hot sun. And even then, you know, it was really hard sometimes for them to make ends meet. I've never seen two people work harder just to put food on the table.
And I always joke that one of my, the happiest days of my life was when we got our double wide! Because when you get a double wide after living in a single wine, you have twice as much space! And so that was a really happy day. But a really hard day was when my dad had gotten emphysema - he had it for about 10 years. And then when he got really sick, his health insurance was canceled. And at that point, we hadn't had much before that, but we really lost everything at that point. I know what it's like for people, I know what it's like for those working families.
And so a few of the things I would want to work on are bringing costs down.
We have to become more energy independent, we have to be able to control our own access to fuel and heating is going to be expensive this winter - gas put in our cars, we have to make sure that we're bringing those costs down.
Also healthcare; huge issue. So things like bringing down prescription drug costs. You know, this past congress did pass a bill to allow Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices. My opponent voted against that bill. But it would allow Medicare to negotiate for some drug prices.
We need to expand the drugs that Medicare can negotiate for and bring down the cost of insulin.
I was at a parade the other day and when I walk in a parade - I don't just walk in a parade, I kind of I'm always talking to people on the sides - one woman came up to me at a parade and said, "Thank you for bringing down the price of insulin."
We have to do that. That's so important for my family and I think that's really crucial. Again, you know, my opponent voted against bringing down insulin costs for people on Medicare. And so we have to do that we have to expand that to all people. So bringing down those health care costs will be huge for me.
Also, in general, our rural health care-- we are seeing our small hospitals shut down and a lot of places. In Keokuk, it was just announced that the hospital there is going to close. We've seen a number of closures that way all over this district.
And we also see that the places that are operating are always having trouble finding physicians, nurses, staff. I would want to work on incentive programs to recruit very good health care workers and to keep them here and also to keep our hospitals open - at least our emergency rooms. I think that when some of those hospitals shut down, we can at least keep the emergency room for things like strokes and heart attacks and accidents that require immediate attention.
(Continued topic from above)
KLUVER: Sticking with health care, you talk a lot about care for senior citizens in Iowa's first district. What policies would you like to see enacted for those voters?
BOHANNAN: Absolutely. You know, that's so important to me.
When I was growing up, you know, when my family lost everything, social security and Medicare were absolutely lifelines for us. I wouldn't be here if my family hadn't had those. And the thing is that those are really hard-earned benefits. They're not entitlements, they are benefits - people have worked really hard for them over their lives. So we have to preserve those.
For social security, I think that we have to shore up social security, make sure that it is able to be maintained and sustained over the long-term -- for my generation, for your generation for the next generation.
My opponent has actually said that she would privatize social security and that she would raise the retirement age. I'm opposed to those. I think, again, those are hard-earned benefits. I don't think that's the way to go. I think we need to protect those. But obviously, we need to shore that up, make sure that there's money there to pay for that over the long term.
And with Medicare, I really do think that we need to expand Medicare benefits to include dental, hearing and vision. Those are health care issues just like anything else, I think that Medicare should cover those. We do see a lot of elderly people who, because they've lost their hearing or something, they really become disconnected from their families and their friends. And that can be very isolating. We're even seeing a connection between Alzheimer's and hearing loss. So I think those are things that we need to expand.
And then we need to continue letting Medicare negotiate for drug prices for even more of those drugs. I think that that's absolutely critical. My opponent voted against that. I would have voted for that and would continue to expand the number of drugs that they can vote for to bring those costs down.
KLUVER: Let's turn to education. You've said that public funding is one of the biggest challenges facing Iowa schools. What policies would you like to enact to help tackle this problem while in Congress?
BOHANNAN: Education is absolutely critical for me.
When my family basically lost everything and lost our choices, it was public education that lifted me out of poverty, gave me opportunities I never could have imagined. Because I had that support, a K-12 and a good education, I was able to go on to work my way through engineering school and law school and become first in my family to graduate college. And I want those opportunities for everybody.
I really believe that public education is the tide that lifts all boats and can really lift people up. So I think it's so important to support that.
I think we need to reinvest in public education in Iowa. Our funding here in Iowa - our state funding - has not been keeping up with inflation, has not been keeping up with costs. So I think it's very important that we reinvest in that at the state and federal level while keeping local control.
The other thing that we need to do is to make sure that our kids can bounce back from Covid. That time out of school was difficult for a lot of kids and a lot of families. We are seeing some learning gaps, and that's really unfortunate.
I think that was a time that really hit a lot of people hard when, you know, there was a teacher shortage, we had shortages of bus drivers, so it was hard to keep those schools open. And so I think that we need to have parents and teachers working together to bring our kids back and to help bridge that gap.
One thing we really need to do is to get away from what we're seeing happening in Iowa right now, which is that some politicians are actually vilifying teachers saying that they have a sinister agenda, and really kind of driving a wedge between our parents and our teachers. That is absolutely the wrong way to go. We need parents and teachers working together. That is when our kids win.
KLUVER: As a former environmental engineer, you've talked a lot about climate change and its effect, particularly on Iowa's agricultural sector. What bills or policies would you like to fight for to help address this issue?
BOHANNAN: Yes, that is really important.
I'll just say this is really timely because the town I grew up in, in Florida, was actually just very hard hit by the hurricane. Arcadia was one of the hardest-hit towns and the photos that my family were sending me were unbelievable. I mean, entire, huge main roads of town completely underwater, bridges washed away, buildings that are now looking like-- they were built on land, but now they look like they're in a river. Those buildings are going to suffer major damage and may not be recoverable.
The fact is that this kind of damage is going to keep happening, it's going to keep happening more and more. And so we have to realize that taxpayers are going to be paying for all of that damage.
I was at a realtor's meeting the other day here in the Quad Cities. They were talking to me about flood insurance premiums and how high those are and how difficult that is for them as realtors and for property owners. These are all things that are going to continue to get worse if we don't take action here.
But the good news is, we have great opportunities here in Iowa.
Our farms are being hard hit by climate change, the growing season is short, we have extreme heat days, droughts, unpredictable growing seasons. The good news, though, is that our farmers can be part of the solution. Because we can help bring our farmers in, give them the resources that they need to help curb climate change through things like making their soil healthier, growing cover crops, engaging in other practices that can actually help to sequester carbon and be part of the solution.
But I think it's really important that we bring them in and help them be part of the solution. Because our farmers, they know their business, they're smart, they're resourceful, but they know that this is hurting their crops as well. And I think they want to be part of the solution, but they're just operating on such a tight margin these days, with input costs being so high, it's very difficult for them to do this on their own. So we've got to help them do it.
KLUVER: Turning to the economy, from Muscatine to Burlington, over to Iowa City, what are ways that a congresswoman can help out when it comes to driving down inflation for people all over the first district?
BOHANNAN: Yes, there's a lot actually, that we can do.
Inflation has been so tough, because it was just a perfect storm between Covid shutting down our production facilities for a lot of goods, and then, people-- once they came out of Covid, being ready to get back to their lives - and rightly so - the demand for those products went up. And when you have high demand and low supply, you get really high prices, combined with the war in Ukraine, and what that's doing to gas prices and even some food prices.
So this has been tough. I know that people all over the district are struggling with these high prices. Small businesses, too, with those input costs. So we have to bring those prices down.
So there are a few things you know, that we can do.
First of all, we have to make sure that we move toward energy independence. I think that's so important. I did support releasing a lot of barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, I think that was a good step. Making ethanol year-round I think is a good step to bring down prices in the short term and help Iowa's ethanol industry. So that's good.
Beyond that, we also need to move toward renewable energy. Iowa will be great for this! We already get a huge amount of our electricity - more than just about any other state - from renewable fuels. That can be a real growth industry for us and a place where we can add even more jobs. So this will be great for our economy, while we're also helping to bring down those prices.
And you know, beyond that, we have to hold the big oil and gas industry accountable for corporate price gouging. You know, what we saw during Covid is some of those big oil companies talking about how supply chain was a problem, and Covid forced them to raise their prices. But then they post record profits-- more than we've seen in years and years. We have to hold them accountable for that and make sure that they're not using these things as an excuse to raise those prices unnecessarily.
My opponent has taken nearly $60,000 from the oil and gas industry in a fairly short period of time she's been in office, and then she voted against holding the oil and gas companies accountable. So I think we do need to hold them accountable. And we need to make sure that we're focused on Iowa and its renewable fuels industry, which can help with this issue.
KLUVER: Attack ads have accused you of being soft on crime and being for defunding the police. Where do you stand on those issues?
BOHANNAN: These attack ads (laughs), politics has gotten so ugly and they're just absolutely untrue.
I grew up in a really small town where we didn't have to look over our shoulder every five seconds for crime. Kids could be kids, they could go out on their bikes. And I love that about a community that's safe. And it's one of the things I love about Iowa, too, that we have those kinds of safe communities. I will absolutely fight to protect those.
And it's so important that we do protect our law enforcement and support them.
In the Iowa legislature, a bill was passed about policing. And one of the things that the law enforcement had asked for - one of their major priorities - was to get some additional benefits that had to do with sick leave and their retirement. That was one of their main priorities in that bill. And it was stripped out. Giving them those additional benefits were stripped out.
I supported and voted for an amendment that would have given them those benefits. So I totally support police and law enforcement, I think that's really critical.
We have to give them good wages and benefits to recruit the best and the brightest. We have to give them the training and resources they need to do a really difficult job safely and to keep our community safe.
And the other thing I think is really important is giving them some support-- like mental health professionals, social workers. Because what I've heard from a lot of law enforcement is that they are called to deal with situations that aren't really violent, you know, a homeless person or a mentally ill person. And what we need to do is make sure that there are professionals that can deal with those situations so that our police can get back to you know, dealing with violent crime, which is what they were really trained to do and what we need them to do.
So the attacks-- honestly, we keep seeing this happen. Republicans attack Democrats constantly about defunding the police. It's been happening for the last few years. And nobody's defunding the police! You look all across the country at the different cities - even cities run by Democrats - they've invested heavily in police, they're not defunding the police.
I think that what we're seeing with these attack ads is the fact that, as I've mentioned already, Mariannette Miller-Meeks is deflecting from her own record. She has consistently voted against every single thing that would make Iowans' everyday lives better. She voted against infrastructure, against bringing good manufacturing jobs back from places like China and Taiwan and back to the United States. She voted against letting Medicare negotiate for lower drug prices, against capping the price of insulin for people on Medicare. She's said she's for privatizing Social Security and raising the retirement age. I mean, it just goes on and on. When you don't have a positive record to run on, you resort to negative attacks.
KLUVER: Is there a bipartisan bill or issue that you wouldn't look forward to fighting for, if you get elected on November 8?
BOHANNAN: Yes, there are! Many actually.
When I was in the legislature, I worked really closely crossed the aisle with a number of Republicans-- developed some really good friendships there. On all kinds of bills: bills to protect free speech, regardless of viewpoint - I'm a strong believer in that - and freedom of religion, even for people's religions who are different from mine; bills to crack down on human trafficking; bills to prevent elder abuse-- so all kinds of things we have worked on.
And in congress, I would do the same thing. You know, I think there are a few things.
First of all, a tax cut for the middle class. I hope that's something that Republicans and Democrats could agree on, is a tax cut. I think people work hard. I think that hard work is sacred and every dollar they make is precious. So we need to make sure that we're not taxing any more than we absolutely have to.
And then the other thing is, frankly, immigration. We have to come together on immigration. I think that immigration is something where both parties have failed.
Washington, D.C. politicians generally have just not dealt with immigration. I think Democrats sometimes don't acknowledge the problem that border states face, kind of uniquely-- what they're dealing with there, with the influx of immigrants. But I think the Republicans sometimes use it as a political wedge rather than coming to the table in good faith to work. We need both sides to really come to the table in good faith and do comprehensive immigration reform.
We've talked about it a lot, but we really need to do it. I would certainly want to be involved in that. We need to secure our border, and we need to provide a pathway to citizenship for law-abiding, hardworking immigrants.
KLUVER: This district very narrowly went to your opponent two years ago -- just six votes separated her and her opponent at the time. What are you doing, this time around, to help turn that gap in your favor?
BOHANNAN: It was actually one of the closest races in history, I believe-- it would have to be at six votes, right?! You don't see very many congressional races going that close.
People talk to me about that a lot, and this time we do have a different district. But it's a good district. It's a fairly-drawn, good district.
What I'm doing is really engaging people across all parties. I think that's so important. I think that our divisive politics really are one of the biggest challenges this country has ever faced. I think it's a threat to our country, our democracy. It's certainly a threat to working people everywhere, who really see, now, that our politics almost have nothing to do with them anymore. They feel like it's all political theater and lies and misrepresentations and blaming and all of that. I think we really have to get back to talking to each other.
I'm really engaging people all across party and it's going extremely well, we're getting really great reception. I came over this morning and talked to the Optimist Club at 7 o'clock this morning. It was an early morning, but it was a good one. So I'm talking to all different people.
And the other thing is in 2020, obviously, with Covid, the Democrats really weren't doing any door-knocking or public events and things like that. That was something that I think hurt Democrats in a number of different races. And so we are engaging in a very robust effort to get out and talk to people and get out the vote.
KLUVER: Wrapping up, let's say things don't go your way on November 8. Will you support your opponent and this democratic process?
BOHANNAN: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely.
We have to respect our elections and the outcome. We have to make sure that the voice of the people is what's really heard. That is critical to our state to our country. I will respect that.
Whatever happens, this has been a tremendous honor to be the Democratic nominee and to go around and talk to people everywhere. But I think it's really important that we work to make sure that people have confidence in our elections, that they are secure, that they are fair-- I will always work for that. So, absolutely, I will respect that and I will hope for the best, always, for the people of the first district.
SHELBY KLUVER: Let's say you get reelected. When you walk back into Congress for the second time, with new priorities perhaps, what are the top three issues on your mind?
MARIANNETTE MILLER-MEEKS: Well, I think the top three issues are the issues that are concerning to most people. So that's inflation, crime and the border.
We need to do something about inflation to lower gas prices, lower food prices. And we can do that by a resurgence of energy independence-- opening up auctions for leases, permitting. And then in Iowa, we have a great story with renewables and we can do both renewable and fossil fuels. But we need to get prices down.
Gasoline prices are also related to food prices. So whether it's diesel tractors, whether it is natural gas for fertilizer, whether it is transporting goods back and forth, all of that is related to food prices. Both food and fuel prices can come down. So I think inflation is that top issue.
And also prices on prescription drugs. I have several bills on lowering prices for prescription drugs. One is a biosimilar bill to get to a generic insulin and that can be done. It's feasible, it can happen now, just requires a little legislative change.
And then working on both border and crime. People have seen untold numbers of people coming across our southern border. But more importantly, you have people on the terror watch list.
You have fentanyl and synthetic fentanyl. You all have done reports on this synthetic fentanyl that looks like Halloween candy. Last year, a record number-- 107,000 deaths from overdoses in our young population, 18-45 years of age. So that is a tremendous issue.
We have seen crime skyrocket through soft-on-crime policies-- be it cashless bail, be it 'defund the police'. We've had several law enforcement roundtables, I've met with our sheriffs and our police. In our state, we did both police reform and we've also had 'back the blue.' I think we need to be able to encourage our police, hold them accountable, but we also need to support them in the job that they do every single day protecting us.
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KLUVER: I wanted to ask about your crime policies. When you talk about being soft on crime and defunding the police, are you seeing this anywhere in Iowa's first district? Why is this top of mind for you, and should be for voters here?
MILLER-MEEKS: Well, I think that you see it both in Iowa and you see it all over the country. When I visit in Scott County or I visit in Des Moines County, Burlington, Fort Madison, you're seeing increasing crime, whether it's crime with guns, crimes with knives-- but there's increased crime that we're seeing throughout our district, especially along our river towns. So it is something that is brought up to me when I visit with law enforcement.
They also talked about the increase in drug trafficking, whether it's around Scott County, Muscatine County, Clinton County, whether it's heroin, fentanyl, or whether it's in our southern counties in the district, whether it's methamphetamine.
But yes, there is an increase in crime, people are seeing that, people feel less safe, so it's not just in other large blue cities, it's even right here in Iowa.
KLUVER: You list government accountability as one of your top issues when you talk to voters. What does that mean to you and how do you want to work towards that?
MILLER-MEEKS: Well, I think government accountability for me means, number one, looking at our CDC and their guidance. Can the CDC take research and then translate that into a message and a plan for how we address a pandemic? As we saw during the pandemic, there was a lag time.
Looking at accountability to the CDC, we still haven't redone our strategic national stockpile. We know that we need to diversify our supply chain rather than having reliance upon the Chinese Communist Party for PPE and for antibiotics and for testing reagents. So those types of accountability, by having oversight and what things we did wrong, what things we did right-- such as Operation warp speed and getting a vaccine out to people.
We need accountability as we've seen with the FBI recently, with doing raids on the homes of protesters. And so that is a type of accountability.
We need to have an investigation into the origins of Covid-19, which we have not had done, despite the fact that we have asked for that several times. So those are the things that we need to investigate, that we need oversight.
We need oversight on our border policies.
So I think there are things that-- we can have oversight, but we also need to be able to govern. And so I think it's very important that we're able to put forth legislation.
One of the things I mentioned was prescription drug prices.
The Republicans unveiled their commitment to America, which is an economy that is strong, a nation that is safe, a future that's built on freedom, and also government accountability. So I think those are things that we're looking forward to implement.
Parents 'Bill of Rights,' that's a method of having government accountability so that parents aren't called domestic terrorists because they go to a school board meeting. None of us condone violence, I do not condone violence, but I think for people to peacefully protest their government is something that is a constitutional right that we should be able to support.
KLUVER: I want to move on to the economy and specifically trade, which you have listed as one of your top priorities. What specific policies would you be willing to fight for to help both large and small businesses in Iowa's first district when it comes to trade?
MILLER-MEEKS: Both for our manufacturing economy and our agricultural economy, trade is extremely important. So whether those are trade practices that are free trade practices and fair trade, that don't penalize the United States, don't tap currency manipulation, don't have goods and services that are shipped overseas and then they're left there on a port then they're tainted and they're refused and declined-- we've seen those types of unfair trade practices go on.
But we know that we need trade both with Europe, but we need trade in Asia as well. And so continuing to work on trade policies, which are supportive of our agricultural economy, as well as our manufacturing economy are very important to Iowa and to Iowa's first congressional district.
KLUVER: Do you have any specific trade policies in mind?
MILLER-MEEKS: We had looked at the TTP before - I was not in Congress when that was done - but we are looking at the TTP, other trade policies.
We know that Iowa has worked very diligently to get trade with South Korea and also trade in the Asian countries and we'd continue to work on that. China is a trade partner for the United States, but it is a trade partner that has unfair trade practices. So we can negotiate those trade deals, it's something that congress does in concert with the administration.
Health Care & Abortion
KLUVER: I want to go to health care and something that you briefly touched on at the beginning. But you've talked a lot about bringing down the high costs of health care. And you talked a lot about how health care is unaffordable for a lot of Iowans. What specific policies would you have in mind that congress could do, to help bring down some of those costs?
MILLER-MEEKS: Some of them I've already mentioned. I've submitted bills-- a bill for biosimilars. These are medications that are chemically equivalent to another medication-- top of mind is insulin. And that's what drove this particular policy. So you can have generic insulin, but just through a quirk in how our code system is, it's not dispensed. So altering that will allow generic insulin.
There also is innovation, artificial intelligence, wearable devices, technology that can help us number one, to have behavioral changes to have healthier lifestyles; number two, that can detect and pick up diseases earlier so they're treated at an earlier stage; and then continue what we're doing with rare and orphan drugs to treat chronic diseases. And as we just saw this week, a drug that is getting approved for Alzheimer's.
So these are ways to treat chronic diseases that are very debilitating, they're very costly. But being able to detect, treat them early and then help people and motivate people to have healthier lifespans, which will also help to bring down the cost of health care.
Also using artificial intelligence within our Medicare and Medicaid programs that help detect fraud. Those are all things that can help to save money, can increase affordability and increase access to health care.
One of the things I've championed since I've been in congress, and actually as a state senator, was telehealth. We saw telehealth expand during the pandemic, and part of that was that technology was at the level where telehealth became very much usable and feasible and acceptable to people. Our technology had better imaging, better communication with multiple groups that were in different locations-- not just in one location. So I've continued to push for an advocate for an expansion of telehealth. And I think that we can continue to see how that will help both in rural areas and in urban areas.
But along with telehealth, that also requires us to have broadband. And so both as a state senator and in congress, I've been pushing to expand broadband and make sure that we have cable to the last mile so that people have access both to telehealth, telework and telelearning.
KLUVER: Staying within healthcare, you are very publicly pro-life. In congress, how far would you be willing to vote when it comes to things like federal abortion restrictions?
MILLER-MEEKS: Well, I am pro-life with exceptions for life of the mother, rape and incest. That's been my long-standing policy.
When you look at the growth - the scientific growth of the fetus - we know that an infant is pain-capable at 15 weeks; we know that the fetus is viable at 20 weeks. I also have knowledge of what happens in late-term and partial-birth abortion.
I think that as we're looking at things, where the American public is, where I am, the Dobbs decision turned this back over to the elected representatives. Elected representatives are both state and federal. So I would prefer to see this happen at the state level, but at the federal level to have abortion with-- pro-life with no abortions after 15 weeks, with exceptions for life of the mother, rape and incest, I think, is a policy that the majority of Americans agree with.
KLUVER: If you get reelected, you will still have a Democratic president. What is a bipartisan bill or issue that you are working on and would like to see passed over the next two years if you win reelection?
MILLER-MEEKS: One of the things I've already mentioned is a bill to lower prescription drug prices. I'd like to see my bill come forward. We have a bill on legal immigration that I'd like to see passed into law. We have the Afghan Readjustment Act is another bill that I would like to see passed into law, from those who came here at the turnover of Afghanistan to the Taliban-- interpreters, people who helped us, helped our military, helped save the lives of our military service members, and as a veteran that's extremely important to me.
I'd like to see us do more on reopening our energy sector and energy independence. And as we're watching what's happening in Europe, and what's happening now with their energy cost, and energy availability, they're in for a very rough winter. We already have reports of people burning trash, cutting down ancient forests, because they had shut down their fossil fuel sectors and right now I don't have enough energy.
I think those are things that I think most people would be agreeable to do. And I think the President would be willing to sign. Under President Biden, there has been, to my knowledge, one land auction-- public or federal lands for oil and gas drilling. And under President Obama, during the same period of time, there were 47.
So I do think this is a policy that the majority of the American people would want, we know energy demand is going up, and we can transition to cleaner energy, less carbon emissions. But we need to do that in a way that makes sense and gives us affordable energy - both for our manufacturing sector for individuals within their homes - and to be able to drive back and forth to work.
So I think there's ways that we can work with the President and get legislation passed that benefits people within the first congressional district, but also all of the United States.
KLUVER: Two years ago, you had the pleasure of experiencing one of the closest congressional races in the country - just six votes separating you and Rita Hart. What are you doing this time around to help widen that gap for yourself?
MILLER-MEEKS: Well certainly six votes is not a very large margin, but it underscores that every single vote counts. So I would really encourage people to vote, register to vote if you're not registered to vote, and to vote. Every vote counts regardless of who you vote for. It's one of our honors and privileges that we have in this country.
And for me, I continue to go out-- either in my congressional duties throughout the district. As you remember, when I first got into office, I went to all 24 counties in the second congressional district-- went to all of them to do vaccine and vaccine clinics, talk about the vaccine, but I've also encouraged the CDC and NIH to be transparent and honest about side effects and to help people make the appropriate decisions for themselves.
I continue to travel throughout the district, both the 24 counties of the second congressional district, which I currently represent, as well as the additional four new counties of the new district.
We have excellent constituent services, we're known for that. Our staff is known to be very timely, to be very responsive. So we visit, we're accessible, we're available, we respond to emails and phone calls, we make ourselves available out in the public.
And we're passing legislation. I've passed 13 bills in the time that I've been in Congress, had five of them signed at the White House, so I've had the privilege of being at the White House when bills were signed, that I helped promote. And a lot of these bills come from conversations that I have with people within the district. So they're motivating me and inspiring me to work hard for them.
I'm honored to be able to serve. And yes, I would like to at least triple my margin going into this election.
KLUVER: Wrapping up, if things don't go your way on November 8, will you support your opponent and this democratic process?
MILLER-MEEKS: I think the democratic process is very important that we uphold and that we honor. I was part of getting election integrity changes made and passed in Iowa. I think the election system in Iowa has very high election integrity and people can be confident in their vote and trust in our system as we put forward our election laws with our voter ID.
So yes, I would support whoever is the winner of this election. And I hope that the people of the first congressional district will seek to reelect me as a bipartisan member of Congress who has worked very hard to serve them and has been able to execute on that promise.
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