From securing critical COVID relief to continuing her accessibility to Iowans, this year combat veteran Sen. Ernst continued to fight relentlessly and deliver for Iowa
Dec 29 2020
WASHINGTON – From securing critical, bipartisan COVID relief for Iowa families, small businesses, hospitals, and farmers, to continuing to hear directly from and be accessible to Iowans across the state on her annual 99 County Tour, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) continued to fight relentlessly and deliver for her home state of Iowa in 2020.
“This past year, we Iowans have experienced trying times, but we’ve also seen the resilient spirit of our state. Whether securing critical COVID relief, fighting tooth and nail to defend the RFS, or continuing to be accessible to Iowans across our state—throughout it all, I’ve never stopped fighting relentlessly and delivering for all Iowans. Of course, the work doesn’t stop here, and as we head into the New Year, I’ll continue fighting for our families, farmers, and small businesses, being your voice in Washington, and always putting Iowa first” said Senator Joni Ernst, the first female combat veteran elected to the Senate.
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Some highlights of 2020:
- Fighting for Iowa Small Businesses
– Delivered billions of dollars of COVID relief to more than 60,000 Iowa small businesses through the first installment of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP); pushed Congress and delivered additional support for Iowa small businesses.
- Accessibility and the 99 County Tour – Completed her sixth 99 County Tour; has held a public town hall or event in every county in Iowa – from the most populated county, Polk County, to the smallest, Adams County.
- Standing Up for Farmers, Securing Trade Deals – Fought tooth and nail for Iowa pork producers by securing immediate COVID assistance and strengthening the supply chain; successfully pushed for support for Iowa dairy, turkey, egg, and cattle producers; worked across the aisle to bolster support for farmers through the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC); and finalized the USMCA, supported the Phase One China trade deal, and pushed for a trade deal with the UK.
- Defending the RFS, Fighting for Biofuels – Delivered key provisions in the latest COVID relief package to provide support for Iowa biofuel producers; after blocking a key EPA nominee, Ernst successfully pushed EPA to throw out the “gap year” waivers; secured a commitment from the president to allow E15 at E10 pumps and, at her urging, applauded USDA’s investment in renewable fuel infrastructure in Iowa; called for and commended the ethanol agreement with Brazil; and, earlier in the year, pushed for COVID relief for biofuel producers and pushed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow ethanol to be used for hand sanitizer.
- Supporting Iowans Hurt By the Derecho – Met directly with Iowans on the ground and with local leaders immediately after the storm hit and helped make resources available; called on USDA to provide assistance for farmers and cooperatives impacted by the storm; took action to go after scammers and price-gougers who were targeting Iowans; and pushed for tax relief for Iowans impacted by the storm.
- Caring for Veterans, Bolstering the Military – Demanded answers about sexual misconduct at U.S. military academies, worked across the aisle to combat assault in the Coast Guard, and took action to prevent abuse at the VA; pushed for equipment and policies to better prevent traumatic brain injury (TBI) and pressed for answers about conditions leading to TBI in veterans; built on her bipartisan work for veterans to ensure quality care for our veterans, combat veteran suicide, and help veterans transition to civilian life; and fought the bureaucracy to get female servicemembers proper-fitting body armor.
- Making ‘em Squeal – Pushed back on Washington waste and frivolous spending with her monthly Squeal Award; called for unused government cash to go toward emergency PPE and medical equipment; worked to ban U.S. tax dollars from being spent at China’s “wet markets” and the Wuhan lab; fought to eliminate a taxpayer-funded presidential campaign fund; and worked to ban taxpayer funding of anarchy in U.S. cities.
- Supporting Hospitals, Lowering Health Costs, Expanding Access to Care – Delivered vital relief for Iowa hospitals and rural health care providers in the latest COVID relief package; secured support for Iowa’s hospitals, including those in rural areas, and pushed to ensure hospitals’ access to the Paycheck Protection Program; continued her bipartisan work to lower health care costs for Iowans and increase transparency to reduce drug prices; called for expanded telehealth services; and continued working with Senator Grassley to drive down Rx drug costs.
- Delivering for Families, Seniors – Continued be a strong advocate for expanding child care services; secured $32 million in COVID relief for Iowa child care centers and additional funding for centers in the latest COVID package; called for additional support for diaper assistance amid COVID; continued supporting family caregivers; called for a crackdown on scammers targeting seniors during COVID; pushed for support for nursing homes and senior care facilities.
- Promoting Women, Conservative Values – Voted to confirm Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, who Ernst described as an “inspiration for working moms and young girls across the country;” was unanimously reelected to serve as Vice Chair of the Senate Republican Conference; led the effort to eliminate female genital mutilation and fully denounce it as a human rights violation; and helped create the law to safeguard the resources for investigating sexual abuses of Olympic and amateur athletes.