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Fischbach reflects on Cheney, seventh district concerns and DFL policy differences during listening tour

Rep. Michelle Fischbach, currently in the middle of a district-wide tour during the congressional August recess, made a variety of stops in Detroit Lakes on Aug. 17 as she met with local business and civic leaders to discuss their concerns. She even had time to sit down for an exclusive one-on-one interview with the Detroit Lakes Tribune.

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Rep. Michelle Fischbach, R-Minn., 2022 candidate photo
Contributed / Michelle Fischbach
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DETROIT LAKES — Her first stop was at Strata Corporation, a ready-mix concrete supplier off County Road 6.

"I noticed, I still have concrete dust on my shoes," she said, as a smile turned into a small chuckle.

Rep. Michelle Fischbach, currently in the middle of a district-wide tour during the congressional August recess, made a variety of stops in Detroit Lakes on Aug. 17 as she met with local business and civic leaders to discuss their concerns. She even had time to sit down for an exclusive one-on-one interview with the Detroit Lakes Tribune.

"It was just an interesting tour, and I'll tell you, one of the issues we talked about was workforce," said Fischbach. "From the top to the bottom of my district, that is probably the first thing I hear about, whether it be the Ag industry, manufacturing, retail, restaurants ... and (Strata) seems to have some ideas of how they're addressing it, and their issue, in particular, is truck drivers."

She also said the lack of housing, especially in rural Minnesota, plays into the workforce problem many businesses are facing.

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"If you can attract people, where are you going to put them up?" said Fischbach.

Fischbach is finishing her first term representing the Seventh Congressional District in Minnesota after defeating 30-year-incumbent DFLer Collin Peterson, 53% to 40%, in 2020.

Minnesota Congressional District Map, 2022
Minnesota Congressional District Map, 2022
Minnesota Legislature / Legislative Coordinating Commission

Following the primary loss of conservative Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., to a Trump-endorsed candidate Harriet Hageman on Aug. 16, Fischbach said Cheney was always polite and kind to her.

"I worked with her a little bit, not much because she kind of moved away from the conference and she was doing her own thing," said Fischbach. "But I think the voters in Wyoming decided they wanted something different and that's what it boils down to."

In regards to the 2020 election, Fischbach voted to not certify the electoral votes from Pennsylvania and Arizona on Jan. 6, 2021, because, she said, there were enough concerns raised about the vote tallies.

"It was less of a vote to 'decertify', as to 'look into,'" she said. "If there's concern, then it should be investigated. So, I'm of the opinion that it certainly does not hurt at any time to do the research, to do the investigation, to make sure. To prove it either way. It doesn't hurt to look."

Focusing on Minnesota's elections, Fischbach said, generally, they are fine.

"I think you are probably looking at the metro areas that are going to be more of a concern," she said. "You talked to your election judge, you know what, I don't think that probably happens in the metro area. She probably recognized you from somewhere. You don't have that kind of personal connection in the metro area."

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In terms of learning how the U.S. House works compared to the state legislature, the first-term congresswoman said she was fortunate to be a sitting member of the House Judiciary, Rules, and Agriculture committees.

"Rules sound super boring, but that has been incredibly helpful because you see every bill before it goes to the floor," she said.

Reflecting on the stark partisan divide between Republicans and Democrats, Fischbach said, "Some of their policies are very concerning."

"In particular for rural Minnesota and rural America, they don't understand what is really happening with Ag and their policies reflect that they don't understand," she said.

The lack of housing issue is another item Fischbach said she believes Democrats miss the mark on because they want low-income housing and not market-rate housing.

"People out there just can't find a house to buy," she said. "Even though they have a job. I've got low-income housing in the northern part of the district that's empty. Not completely empty because people come in, they start working, and then they get priced out of it."

She added: "(Democrats) do these one-size-fits-all (policies) without recognizing what's going on in rural areas and it makes it far more difficult for us to meet those regulations ... there's a real disconnect."

In terms of combating inflation, Fischbach said they need to cut government spending.

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"The government spending increases inflation and that Inflation Reduction Act, has literally nothing to do with inflation reduction," she said.

According to the Associated Press, Fischbach may be right, in the short term; however, with drug price negotiation provisions, extending health insurance subsidies and reducing the annual budget deficit by $300 billion over the next decade, economists have said it may slightly lower inflation by 2030 .

"(Democrats) are spending $800 billion, and most of it is on climate change things," she said. "We have money for climate justice, we have money for tax breaks on electric cars, we have money for tax breaks on used electric cars, there are all kinds of things in there ... 87,000 more IRS agents, that does not reduce inflation, I can tell you that."

Before leaving Detroit Lakes, Fischbach made a stop at Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce and also met with members of Missouri River Energy Services before heading to Moorhead to continue her tour of the Minnesota Seventh.

Fischbach will face DFL candidate Jill Abahsain and Legal Marijuana Now candidate Travis "Bull" Johnson in the November general election.

Multimedia News Lead Reporter
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