In the News
By John David
Sen. Joni Ernst is trying to find common ground by overcoming obstacles after her first 100 days on the job.
As the nation’s first female veteran to serve in the U.S. Senate, the quick transition takes her from gathering ideas to decision making.
“The biggest difference is actually being here and making an impact for Iowans,” she said on Thursday. “Making sure that we’re moving America in the right direction.”
Augustana College Ethics Professor Dan Lee says, like all freshman senators, Ernst is paying her dues and finding her way in Washington.
“In the U.S. Senate, newcomers are expected to bide their time and not move too fast,” he said.
She’s already introduced legislation to improve access to mental health care for veterans, spoken out on Medicare and budget reforms and received hands-on experience in agriculture and foreign policy.
She’s also plowing through Iowa on a 99-county tour. It’s a chance to listen and learn more about the issues.
“We have an opportunity now to make a difference,” she said. “We need to do that.”
She was also hand-picked to deliver the Republican response to the State of the Union Address.
The biggest obstacle is a familiar one: building consensus on controversial issues and getting through gridlock.
“We look at the issues,” she said. “We look at where our differences are, but then we strive to find where we can come together.”
Sen. Joni Ernst appears poised for a high profile after a fast first 100 days in office.
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