As part of her 99 counties tour, Sen. Joni Ernst made a stop at Ohnward Bank and Trust in Monticello seeking feedback on how tax reform has affected local banking.

“It’s been a really good thing,” she said of the feedback received.

Ernst met with banking officials in a closed-door roundtable for approximately one hour Aug. 9 discussing a variety of issues, including what the Trump administration has said concerning progress was being made in the various trade agreements.

“They do hope to have the deal with Mexico done by the end of August…and they are also hopeful that we can get Canada on board as well,” she said. “That will provide a little bit of optimism.”

Ernst said whenever she’s talked to the administration on the issue, she’s reiterated the need for the agreements to get done because “you can’t take optimism to the bank.”

In Washington, D.C., Ernst said despite the “highly publicized divide on very partisan issues” when it comes to political rhetoric, she does believe there are some areas where Democrats and Republicans can bridge the gap. Number one on that list is the passage of the Farm Bill, and Ernst is one of the politicians who will be working on the bill in conference in the coming weeks.

“I do think it will be bipartisan,” she said. “That’s my main focus right now (and) in the near future…We have to have a farm bill.”

Ernst said that regulations put on financial institutions was a part of the discussion in the round table.

The senator also addressed diplomatic relations with Russia and North Korea. She said there needs to be communication, but also expressed caution saying she did not trust either country. Further sanctions were passed down on Russia earlier that day.

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