Randy Feenstra.

After spending several weeks in Washington D.C., Iowa’s new 4th District Congressman says he’s optimistic about the days, weeks and months ahead.

Republican Randy Feenstra, of Hull, was sworn into office on Sunday and says during the December orientation, he came to realize the possibilities for partisanship and the promise of great accomplishments. “The good thing is, everybody gets together and we all sit in a room, Democrats and Republicans, all the freshmen and they tell us all the rules and regulations,” Feenstra says. “You have name badges and you have to learn everybody. The good thing is, I think we’re all friends at this point. Now, that could probably change but it shows that we can get things done.”

Feenstra says he’s encouraged as he and the other members of Congress are “there for the right reasons,” and they all want to make a difference for America. “There’s a lot of discussion on that, from agriculture to health care to economics,” he says. “Obviously, we’re going to see things through different lenses in different areas of life. It was just good to hear all the different voices talking, from both sides of the aisle.”

Feenstra says he’s concerned about the rising debt and deficit and while it’s easy to talk about policy, they need to focus on some key financial obstacles. “So much centers around dollars and cents,” Feenstra says. “I got to the floor and talked about it to all of the freshmen. Please understand that we have this debt, this $28-trillion debt, and we collectively — I don’t care what party you’re from — we cannot put this on the backs of the next generation. We’ve got to start managing it and getting to a balanced budget.”

Feenstra is an instructor at Dordt University in Sioux Center and served as a state senator since 2009. He defeated long-time Congressman Steve King in a five-way primary before beating Democrat J.D. Scholten in November.

(By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton)