WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) released the following statement after voting against the more than 2,000 page bill which includes $1.8 trillion dollars in spending and tax policy:

“Once again, Washington finds itself governing from one crisis to the next, cutting back room deals and now, jamming through this $1.8 trillion package in spending and tax policy. Iowans deserve better; they deserve to have a voice in this process, instead of a being told what’s been negotiated behind closed doors.

“While there are some positive aspects of the deal, I could not in good faith support it in its entirety because it not only fails to address the drivers of our fiscal mess, but it exacerbates the problem by leaving taxpayers on the hook. Simply put, I was sent to Washington to cut the pork and this deal adds too much money to an already growing government and unsustainable national debt.

“Additionally, this back room deal fails to include a critical measure to stop the EPA’s harmful expansion of the WOTUS rule. The reality is the WOTUS rule is ill-conceived and breeds uncertainty, confusion, and more red tape that threatens the livelihoods of many in Iowa and across the country. Failure to act hurts hardworking farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, and small businesses who are continuously ignored by the EPA.

"This bill also sidesteps the need to pause the refugee program for Syrians, in order to ensure that Americans are safe.

"Like Iowans across our state, I'm fed up with politicians' talk of change, only for it to result in more Washington dysfunction. Congress should debate this deal in an open and transparent process.

"We must work together to cut spending and make the tough decisions that the American people elected Congress to make."

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