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In Congress, Iowans show how things should get done

Ernst, Feenstra work in bipartisan way

Amid the endless and often meaningless bickering in Washington, a representative and a senator from Iowa have introduced measures that would actually do some good for the public.

In a move that shows bipartisanship is still possible, U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra, a Republican who represents Iowa’s Fourth Congressional District, has teamed up with Democratic U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, of Wisconsin, to introduce a bill that would reduce loan costs for farmers.

It is called the Enhancing Credit Opportunities in Rural America Act. It would grant tax exempt status to income earned on agricultural real estate loans administered by banks. Without those taxes, banks would be more inclined to offer lower interest rates. Lower interest rates mean lower costs for farmers borrowing money.

On the other side of the Capitol rotunda, U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, an Iowa Republican, has teamed up with U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, a Democrat from Michigan, to introduce the Billion Dollar Boondoggle Act. It would require the Office of Management and Budget to submit to Congress an annual report listing every government -funded project that is $1 billion or more over budget or five years or more behind schedule. By itself, the bill will not stop government waste. But it would give Congress and the public a clear view of what is over budget and behind schedule, creating the opportunity to fix the problems.

That bill was approved by the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee and is headed for the Senate floor.

Both measures demonstrate lawmaking the way it ought to be done. Legislators from both parties are setting aside their differences to come up with something for the common good.

We’re pleased that Iowans are leading the way, showing Washington how things should be done.

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