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In 2021, Ernst Continued to Fight, Deliver for Iowans

As America faced challenges this past year under the Biden administration’s failed policies, Ernst continued to deliver solutions for Iowans from every corner of the state.

WASHINGTON—From successfully pushing for a new memorial on our National Mall honoring our Global War on Terrorism veterans, to working tenaciously to get answers about the origins of COVID-19 and to hold Washington accountable, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) continued to work relentlessly to deliver for Iowa veterans and servicemembers, farmers and biofuel producers, and small businesses, families, and communities in 2021.
“This past year under the Biden administration, our nation faced serious challenges: from the disastrous exit from Afghanistan that’s emboldened our enemies, to a historic immigration crisis at our southern border—and from skyrocketing inflation and out-of-control government spending, to broken promises on biofuel,” said Senator Joni Ernst.
“In 2021 I continued to relentlessly push back on the president’s failed policies, to support our veterans and servicemembers, to deliver for Iowa’s farmers and biofuel producers, to get answers about the origins of COVID-19, to hold Washington accountable, and to always hear from and put Iowa’s small businesses, families, and communities first.
“As we start this New Year, there is so much more work to do, and you can be sure I’ll continue fighting tooth and nail for our values and to deliver for Iowa,” Ernst said.
Here’s a look back at some of Senator Ernst’s most critical work over 2021:
A Done Deal: Global War on Terrorism Memorial on the National Mall
After a years-long, hard-fought effort, Ernst, a veteran of the Global War on Terrorism and the first female combat veteran elected to the U.S. Senate, spearheaded the campaign to create a memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. to honor the veterans of the Global War on Terrorism, our nation’s longest war. Through her relentless efforts, Ernst garnered the support of  lawmakers of both partiesinfluential public figures, and  the six surviving secretaries of Defense—spanning Democratic and Republican administrations. The bill was signed into law as part of the annual defense bill.
Ernst speaks at a press conference with Democrats and Republicans and fellow veterans urging Congress to pass her bipartisan Global War on Terrorism Memorial Location Act.
Unearthing the Origins of COVID-19, Holding China, Bad Actors Accountable
Since the onset of COVID-19, Ernst has been pushing hard for answers about its origins and transparency around the dangerous experiments conducted at China’s state-run Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) that were funded with U.S. taxpayer money. Ernst successfully banned any additional U.S. funding from going to China’s secretive lab. After revelations surfaced about U.S. tax dollars supporting dangerous experiments in China, Ernst introduced the FAUCI Act, which calls for a full accounting of how and where U.S. tax dollars are being spent, a complete ban on funding of “gain-of-function” research in Communist China, and restrictions on government officials who intentionally mislead Congress. In addition, Ernst led bipartisan legislation to create a 9/11-style commission to investigate the pandemic’s origins.
Ernst discusses bipartisan legislation she is leading to create a 9/11-style commission to investigate the origins of COVID-19.
Making Washington Squeal!
As the Senate’s leading foe of wasteful government spending, Ernst continued to make one of her top priorities cutting Washington’s egregious spending with her   Squeal Award. Ernst had provisions of her Cost Openness and Spending Transparency (COST) Act signed into law as part of the annual defense bill to ensure the Pentagon discloses the costs of its research projects. And she successfully got signed into law parts of her Billion Dollar Boondoggle Act, forcing accountability for projects that are more than $1 billion over budget or five years behind schedule. As Democrats continued to push their reckless tax-and-spending spree, Ernst called them out for trying to include an earmark costing more than $100 million that would extend a subway near House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s district—a subway system that is expected to lose as much as $200 million a year over the next decade. Ernst authored legislation going after such wasteful projects . Ernst also went after bureaucrats who were ignoring federal cost transparency requirements, called for a full accounting of the billions of dollars of military equipment the Biden administration left behind in Afghanistan, and pushed for legislation—the Zombie Programs Survival Guide Act—to identify and help repeal outdated and unnecessary programs that continue to linger on long past their expiration dates.
Ernst releases her monthly Squeal Award to go after Washington’s most egregious spending and waste.
7th Consecutive 99 County Tour Completed: Every County, Every Year
Continuing an annual Iowa tradition she’s completed every single year she’s been in office, and one that Iowans have come to expect of their elected officials, Ernst finished her seventh consecutive 99 County Tour, visiting every single one of Iowa’s 99 counties, holding public and open town halls, visiting small businesses, farms, and families and communities, and hearing directly from Iowans across the state.
In Clayton County, Ernst toured M's Machine & Manufacturing. Co.—a female-owned metal fabricator—as a stop on her 99 County Tour for 2021.
Addressing Biden’s Border Crisis, Keeping Sexual Predators Out of Our Country
With a record number of migrants encountered at the southern border over the last year due to the crises and open border policies of the Biden administration, Ernst slammed President Biden for his failure to keep our borders secure and pushed back against some of his most egregious proposals, like Biden’s plan to cut $450,000 checks to illegal immigrants. In addition, Ernst put forward commonsense, bipartisan legislation—the BE GONE Act—to deport those seeking to enter the U.S. who have been convicted of sexual violent crimes or aggravated sexual violence, including sexual assault, a bill that’s gained major support from lawmakers across Capitol Hill as well as immigration groups and experts.
Ernst discusses the crisis at the southern border caused by President Biden’s disastrous policies.
Supporting and Strengthening America’s Fighting Force
As a combat veteran and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Ernst pushed to include several of her provisions in the final, bipartisan annual defense bill, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), to provide troops the support, training, and equipment they need. In addition, following an alarming report revealing an increase in military suicides in 2020, Ernst pushed for the Pentagon to take immediate action to step up suicide prevention efforts. After the Biden administration’s disastrous exit from Afghanistan, Ernst sounded the alarm about the threats the withdrawal could pose for our homeland and led the effort in the NDAA to direct the Secretary of Defense to report on the national security implications of the withdrawal and to develop a strategy to evacuate Special Immigrant Visa holders who still remain in Afghanistan.
Ernst at University of Iowa’s Technology Institute during her 99 County Tour for 2021.
  Military Sexual Assault Reforms Signed Into Law
As a survivor of sexual assault and a former commander in the Iowa Army National Guard, Ernst helped lead the bipartisan effort to make substantial reforms to prevent military sexual assault and hold perpetrators accountable. Key parts of her legislation, which she partnered with Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on, were signed into law.
Ernst joined her colleagues at a press conference to introduce the Military Justice Improvement and Increasing Prevention Act.
Standing Up for Iowa Farmers, Defeating Biden’s Tax Hike on Farm Families
As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Ernst is a strong, lifelong supporter of Iowa’s farmers and agriculture community. This past year, Ernst led the charge on defeating President Biden’s proposed “ farm-to-table” tax hike on farmers, pushed the administration to provide critical COVID aid to Iowa’s family cattle feeders and pork, dairy, and poultry producers, and stood up for Iowa farmers by pushing back against radical, liberal policies from California to effectively ban Iowa ag products.
On her 99 County Tour, Ernst visited Plagge Farms in Franklin Co., a 4th generation farm family.
Fighting for Biofuel, Holding Biden to His Campaign Promises
As a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Ernst held President Biden and his Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) feet to the fire, especially after his disastrous actions to strip out billions of gallons of biofuel demand this past year. Ernst put forward legislation to modernize the EPA’s outdated modeling system and reminded President Biden of the promises he made on the campaign trail to supposedly support the biofuel industry—a Biden biofuel agenda that is simply amounting to “ Promises Made, Promises Broken.”
Ernst visited CornLP in Wright County as part of her 99 County Tour for 2021.