Growing up walking beans and feeding hogs on our family farm in southwest Iowa, I experienced firsthand the hard work that goes into production agriculture. Agriculture has long been the bedrock of our national economy and Iowa plays a critical part in ensuring folks in the U.S. and around the world have access to a safe and affordable food supply. In fact, Iowans are a leading producer of corn, soybeans, pork, eggs, and renewable fuels.
Just like hardworking families all across Iowa and this country do every day, I believe that the federal government should balance its own budget. We are already more than $19 trillion in debt; our children and grandchildren deserve better than uncontrolled spending and more debt from Washington piled onto their future.
I support an all-of-the-above energy approach that increases America’s domestic production and promotes energy independence. Using our plentiful fossil fuel reserves, increasing utilization of renewables and building on advances in energy efficiency, we have the ability to pursue an energy strategy that creates jobs and provides reliable, sustainable and affordable energy to American families and businesses.
Protecting our homeland from threats, both foreign and domestic, should be the top priority of the federal government. As we learned on September 11th, 2001 and continue to be reminded of by ISIS-led or inspired terrorist attacks around the world, we must remain vigilant in defending our citizens and our way of life.
My mission is to ensure we keep faith with those at the tip of the spear of our defense policies—the young men and women of our all-volunteer military. This means ensuring our servicemembers have the best equipment and training available to fight and win, establish missions with clear and achievable objectives, and ensure we have senior leaders who hold their subordinate leaders accountable in maintaining the honor and values of the uniform they wear.
Promises made must be promises kept when it comes to protecting Iowa seniors’ Medicare and Social Security. While maintaining that promise, we must also recognize that reforms are needed to ensure that these programs remain on viable footing for the future. I am committed to working with my Senate colleagues to find bipartisan solutions that will strengthen and secure Medicare and Social Security for seniors today and tomorrow.
Trade plays an important role in Iowa’s economy. According to the Business Roundtable more than one in every five jobs in Iowa – over 456,000 jobs – depend on international trade. Moreover, according to the International Trade Administration at the Department of Commerce, since 2010 the value of Iowa’s exports increased by nearly 22 percent.
Here in the Senate, we have an incredible responsibility to not only make sure our country is protected, but to ensure we live up to the promises made to our veterans. These men and women have selflessly sacrificed in defense of our freedoms, and our way of life. We must ensure that our veterans are prepared to transition back to civilian life. They deserve nothing less than the benefits they were promised and a quality of care we can all be proud of.