Ernst Week in Review

Paid Parental Leave: CRADLE Act

On Tuesday, Senator Joni Ernst announced a new proposal aimed at giving parents in Iowa and across America the option of taking paid parental leave. Millions of working moms and dads in our country face huge hurdles in taking time off to spend with their newborns, which is why Senator Ernst is putting forward a proposal to address the issue.

Click here or on the image above to watch a recap of the Senator’s press conference.

As part of her plan, parents would be given the ability to receive one, two, or three months of paid leave by having the option to postpone activating their Social Security benefits for two, four, or six months. Parents can choose whether or not they’d like to opt in. Senator Ernst’s proposal is a path forward for a budget neutral paid leave option that gives parents greater flexibility without imposing a new government mandate.

The senator penned an op-ed in The Washington Post, entitled “How to provide paid family leave without further indebting the nation.” In addition to The Post, CBS This Morning, Radio Iowa, Washington Examiner, and a number of other outlets across the country covered the paid parental leave proposal.

To watch Senator Ernst’s full CBS This Morning interview, click here or on the image above.

A Government Study on Elvis Presley-Shaped Potato Chip…

This week is “Sunshine Week” –an annual celebration of the importance of transparency and citizens’ access to information about our government. In keeping with the spirit of the week, Senator Ernst introduced new legislation called the Cost Openness and Spending Transparency Act (COST Act) which requires every project supported with federal funds to include a price tag with its cost that is transparent and easily available for taxpayers.

While these cost disclosures are supposed to be required already for some agencies, an investigative report released this week from the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that many federal departments aren’t even monitoring or enforcing compliance at all.

A review by Senator Ernst’s office identified several government projects that didn’t follow the law. Among them: a $90,000 NIH study focused on a sour cream and onion flavored potato chip resembling Elvis Presley. The Washington Times covered this “salty” story.

E15 Year-Round Proposal Moving Forward

This week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) issued their proposed rule to allow the sale of E15 year-round and to improve renewable identification number (RIN) transparency.

Senator Ernst issued a statement in part saying, “I’m thrilled to see the proposed rule for the year-round sale of E15 move forward. As the nation’s leader in ethanol production, Iowa farmers and producers are depending on this rule being in place by the summer driving season, to fulfill President Trump’s promise.”

Communicating Priorities