Cindy Axne was unanimously elected Thursday to serve a leadership role in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Axne, representing the 3rd Congressional District in southwest and central Iowa, was chosen by her colleagues to represent the Midwest as regional whip in the House Democratic Caucus.
“I’m proud to formally serve as one of the Midwest’s voices at the table in the House’s majority next Congress,” Axne said in a statement. “I am humbled by the unanimous support of my Midwestern colleagues, and I promise to use this position to continue bringing the concerns and ideas of everyday Iowans and all Midwesterners front and center in every moment I am in Washington.”
Axne will serve in the role alongside Congresswoman Haley Stevens of Michigan, a fellow first-term member who also held onto her swing seat this year.
According to Axne’s office, regional whips “serve as a conduit” between the region’s members and party leadership, “helping facilitate conversations between the two. This allows regional concerns and voices to be channeled directly through these Whips, and gives the Midwest a direct line to party leaders in discussion about pending legislation.”
Whips also work to ensure members are present for votes and keep tabs on votes and debates.
The Midwest region includes Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
Axne will begin her new role at the start of the 117th Congress on Jan. 4. The Midwest’s current whips are Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and House Majority Whip James Clyburn are expected to retain the top leadership positions when the full House votes in January.
Iowa Sens. Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley also hold leadership roles in their caucus. Grassley serves as Senate president pro tempore, putting him third in line for the presidency. Ernst is vice chair of the Senate Republican Conference.
By Elizabeth Meyer
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