Just hours before his inauguration, Iowa Republican U.S. Reps. Mariannette Miller-Meeks and Ashley Hinson joined GOP colleagues in a letter sent to Democratic President Joe Biden expressing their willingness to work together on key issues facing the nation.
Miller-Meeks, who represents southeast Iowa's 2nd District, tweeted that she offers her "sincere willingness" to work together with the new administration on coronavirus relief, infrastructure and rebuilding the economy.
The letter, signed by 17 House Republican freshmen, states: "After two impeachments, lengthy inter-branch investigations, and, most recently, the horrific attack on our nation's capital, it is clear that the partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans does not serve a single American."
Across the country, "Americans are tired of the partisan gridlock and simply want to see leaders from both sides of the aisle work on issues important to American families, workers, and businesses," the letter states.
The pair express hope to work with the incoming Biden administration in bipartisan fashion, per the letter, to "extend targeted, meaningful coronavirus relief for families businesses; protect Americans with pre-existing (health) conditions; strengthen and modernize our infrastructure; enforce our antitrust laws against emboldened technology monopolies; and restore our economy struggling in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic."
"We firmly believe that what unites us as Americans is far greater than anything that may ever divide us," according to the letter. "In that spirit, we hope we can rise above the partisan fray to negotiate meaningful change for Americans across the nation and maintain the United States' standing as the best country in the world."
Hinson, who represents northeast Iowa's 1st District, tweeted: "People are tired of the chaos and dysfunction that runs DC. As our nation prepares for the peaceful transition of presidential power, I stand ready to find common ground with the Biden Administration where possible so that we can help Iowans & Americans."
However, in a broader statement posted to Facebook, Hinson vowed to "serve as a check on the ultra-liberal agenda I expect from the Biden Administration and Democrats in Congress."
"I will be watching like a hawk to protect your taxpayer dollars and will always fight for conservative policy priorities like upholding the Second Amendment, maintaining a strong national defense, and protecting the unborn," according to the statement.
U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra, the Congressman from western Iowa’s 4th District, was the only member of Iowa's congressional delegation not at the inauguration.
Feenstra will attend "senior night" for his daughter’s basketball team at Dordt University and return to D.C. Thursday, when the House convenes, a spokesman said.
"While the outcome of the presidential election was not what thousands of Iowans had hoped for, it’s time to look ahead and work toward a brighter future for our children," Feenstra said in a statement. "That includes addressing our national debt crisis and working to deliver results for the people of Iowa. I am hopeful that President Biden will seek common ground to move our country forward."
U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne, the lone Democrat in Iowa’s Congressional delegation representing central and southwest Iowa's 3rd District, tweeted: "Today, we begin working to unify, heal, and build our country back better than ever before."
"In the shadow of the Capitol dome, which just two weeks ago was assaulted in an attempt to overthrow our very democracy, President Biden and Vice President Harris will demonstrate to the world that America is dedicated to the peaceful transfer of power, one of the greatest features of our republic, and to meeting the challenges of the day," Axne said in a statement.
U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, tweeted that he looks forward to working with the Biden-Harris Administration on behalf of Iowans.
U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said in a statement: "As an eternal optimist, I am hopeful we can work together with President Joe Biden, and the first female Vice President, Kamala Harris, in a bipartisan way to deliver for the American people."
Ernst said "(f)rom the Renewable Fuel Standard to economic policy, and from agriculture to national defense, I will hold this administration accountable and always put Iowa's interests first."
Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Mark Smith in a statement said: "Today marks a day of unity and the return of compassionate leadership to the highest office in the land. After (four) years of divisive politics, Iowans are ready for new leaders in Washington who will work to make people’s lives better," with a focus on rebuilding the economy, getting Americans vaccinated and providing "direct relief and raise the wage, support small businesses and schools."
"Now more than ever, our country needs unity and healing," Smith said.