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Over the past eight months, more than 2,400 Minnesotans and 225,000 Americans have died as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. America finds itself in the midst of the worst economic recession since the Great Depression. One in four small businesses are on the brink of closing their doors for good. Nearly 30 million Americans lost their job as a result of the coronavirus pandemic — and millions more are just barely getting by.

While other parts of the world are back at work and back in school, America’s economy continues to suffer, our schools are unable to operate normally and our hospitals are overwhelmed by a third peak of COVID-19 infections.

And yet, in the face of the greatest set of crises to face this nation in decades, Washington is stuck in the mud — unable to deliver the relief that millions of Americans so desperately need.

People are struggling. Families aren’t sure how they’ll pay the mortgage, let alone put food on the table. This is no time for business as usual. Moments like these call for bold, dedicated and hardworking leaders who will fight for their state.

Especially in times like these, Minnesotans expect and deserve someone who will work across the aisle when possible and stand up to their own party when required. Since the day I was sworn in, that’s exactly what I’ve done.

I stood up to Democratic leadership to block a pay raise for members of Congress — and passed a bill with Republicans to save billions of taxpayer dollars while eliminating wasteful spending.

I’ve worked on more than 100 pieces of legislation related to health care, including my bill to lower health insurance premiums by an estimated 10% — which passed the House with bipartisan support earlier this year.

I fought to pass and extend the Paycheck Protection Program — which has allowed small businesses like Spiral Brewery in Hastings to keep their doors open and keep their employees on payroll.

I’ve had two bills signed into law by President Donald Trump — as many as any other member of the Minnesota delegation, Republican or Democrat.

Growing up in a mobile home park, you learn very quickly that hard work isn’t a choice — it’s a necessity. I learned that lesson from my mom, who completed her teaching degree over nine years while raising three kids with the help of my grandmother.

I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for her. She understood the value of a hard day’s work and instilled in me the belief that, if you work hard enough, anything is possible. Following in her footsteps, I worked two jobs and took out student loans to work my way through college. And after working my way up over 20 years in business, I led a workforce of more than 16,000 for a major Minnesota medical manufacturer.

My story is a quintessential reminder of the promise of this nation: If you work hard and play by the rules, you can build a better life for yourself and your family. But for too many folks these days, stories like mine are the exception — not the rule. Simply put, the American dream is getting harder and harder for Minnesotans to realize. But that’s why I ran for Congress — to bring that promise back within our reach again.

In Washington, I’ve striven to bring my mom’s work ethic to the halls of Congress. I’ve listened to you, learned from you and fought for you each and every day. I’ve done everything in my power to make sure Washington works for the people — not the other way around.

Through it all, I hope that my record demonstrates the grit, determination and hard work that exemplifies so many of our families here in the Second District. And I hope that I’ve earned the right to continue fighting for you in Congress next year.

Angie Craig, a Democrat, represents Minnesota’s Second Congressional District in the U.S. House.