Liz Mathis: National Democratic legislation is helping Iowans

Ashley Hinson has been ‘voting the wrong way,’ she says of her opponent in race for U.S. House seat

DES MOINES — Democrats have passed a slate of legislation that is beneficial for Iowans, Liz Mathis said at the Iowa State Fair on Saturday.

Mathis, a Democratic state senator from Hiawatha, is running to represent northeast Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District against Republican U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson, who is in her first term in the House after winning election in 2020.

At the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox, Mathis criticized Hinson for voting against the federal infrastructure law and Democrats’ climate, health care and tax bill, the Inflation Reduction Act.

“She’s been voting the wrong way,” Mathis said. “She’s been saying no to a lot of things where she should be saying yes.”

Mathis said Hinson took credit for a project funded by the infrastructure law after voting against it. After being criticized by Mathis and Democrats for celebrating a $829 million project to upgrade locks and dams on the Mississippi River in 2021, Hinson told reporters that while she opposed the act, she wanted to secure money for Iowa once it was passed, according to PolitiFact.

Government estimates say the infrastructure law will bring $5 billion to Iowa. The law has already brought in hundreds of millions of dollars for roads and bridges, internet, water quality and airports, according to the White House.

On the Inflation Reduction Act, Mathis said the law, which President Joe Biden signed Tuesday, will help bring costs down for Iowans and cut the federal deficit.

An estimate from the University of Pennsylvania found that the law would reduce the federal deficit by $264 billion over 10 years, but it found that the effect on inflation is “statistically indistinguishable from zero.” It also found most of the tax increases in the bill fall on people with higher income.

The law will lower health care costs for seniors, the White House said, by allowing Medicare to negotiate the cost of drugs, cap insulin at $35 a month for seniors, and cap yearly drug spending for Medicare recipients at $2,000.

“It will not lift taxes for the average Iowan. It will not,” Mathis said. “Much to the chagrin of the GOP, and they’re saying that it will increase taxes. It will not for the average Iowan.”

Mathis has been a member of the Iowa Senate since 2011. She previously worked as a news anchor for the KWWL and KCRG television stations. She said her work as a journalist helped her understand the struggles of people in Iowa’s 2nd District.

“I covered all kinds of things at the state level and at the national level, too; I was able to travel internationally,” she said. “So I have experience listening and seeing what’s going on in northeast Iowa.”

Political rating agency Cook Political Report rates the 2nd District race as “likely Republican,” and the Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll taken in July found 54 percent of people polled in the district favor a Republican candidate, while 42 percent favor a Democrat on a generic ballot.

Other polling has shown a closer race, with a poll from Public Policy Polling taken near the end of July showing the candidates tied at 44 percent support.

Hinson, who also was a news anchor at KCRG, did not accept the Register’s invitation to speak at the soapbox. In a statement, Hinson campaign manager Sophie Crowell tied Mathis to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and said Mathis would vote to raise taxes.

“Make no mistake, Nancy Pelosi and higher taxes are on the ballot in Iowa under the name of Liz Mathis,” Crowell said.