Ernst kicks off 99 county tour in her hometown


(Red Oak) -- Iowa Senator Joni Ernst made a stop in KMAland on Thursday.

The Red Oak Republican hosted a town hall meeting at the Montgomery County Courthouse, which officially began her 99 county tour of the state for 2016. A crowd of nearly 40 stopped by the courthouse Thursday morning to catch up on the senator's work over the last year. Ernst tells KMA News it's always important for her to meet with people from her home roots to discuss current issues.

"Well I try and get home just about every weekend. By home, it's always Iowa," Ernst said. "I'm always out on the road visiting with Iowans. I kicked off my 99 county tour at the Montgomery County Courthouse which, of course, is where I started as a county auditor many years ago. It was great to visit with all of the folks that were here. We talked about a lot of important issues to Iowans."

The senator used the town hall meeting as a way to review her first year of service in the United States Senate. Ernst says 2015 was an amazing year in that she had a number of bills that passed through the senate with unanimous support.

"I had a program management accountability act bill that passed through the senate unanimously, have had a number of veterans initiatives which are working through various committees, but also a lot of work on WOTUS, which is Waters of the United States and the expanded definition," Ernst said. "I had a resolution of disapproval that passed through the U.S. Senate and will be taken up in the house in the early part of this year."

Ernst adds her hard work from 2015 has carried over into this year.

"First, we really do need to wrap up WOTUS and that will be in the house," Ernst said. "I will continue to encourage our house members to be supportive of that. We also want to make sure we are getting through our appropriations process, which is all of those government spending bills. We want to bring those up, really debate them, and dig down into them. We really need to go through a thorough process and make sure that Iowans understand what's involved with those bills and what's being spent in those bills."

More information on the senator's current work and her 99 county tour for 2016 is available on her official website. Our complete interview with Ernst following her town hall meeting Thursday morning can be found in the YouTube video below.