WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) released audio of her year-end message highlighting her hard work for the people of Iowa over this past year.                      

“2018 was one for the books! I worked hard, day-in and day-out to deliver real solutions to Iowa.  I love our state, and I love the people in it.  I’m truly blessed by the opportunity to serve as your United States Senator.  While it is hard to narrow down the year’s work, I’ve highlighted a number of my accomplishments from throughout the year.  May God bless you and yours this holiday season,” said Senator Ernst.

To download the full audio recording, click here.

The full script is below:

Hi, this is your United States Senator, Joni Ernst. 

2018 was one for the books! I worked hard, day-in and day-out to deliver real solutions to Iowa. 

While it is hard to narrow down the year’s work, I’d like to take a moment to highlight some of my accomplishments from throughout the year.

First off, I was able to help secure $117 million in federal funds for Cedar Rapids flood mitigation, something the people of Cedar Rapids had been waiting for, for over a decade. 

When it comes to regulatory reform, there were a number of big wins in 2018.

I held the Environmental Protection Agency to fulfilling President Trump’s promise of granting the sale of E15 year-round, as well as repealing and replacing the burdensome 2015 “waters of the United States” rule.

Turning to national security, as a member of the National Defense Authorization Act Conference Committee, I secured a number of my provisions in this year’s NDAA that will bolster our nation’s security and support our military, like my legislation to treat and raise awareness of traumatic brain injuries among our servicemembers.

On the trade front, as you all know, it’s been a roller coaster ride. I have been pushing the Administration to open new markets and finalize trade deals, like the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement and the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement, to ensure we provide a pathway to success for Iowa’s agriculture economy. 

The Senate also took action on the growing opioid crisis, and we passed historic, bipartisan opioid legislation, that’s now law.

This bipartisan legislation included two of my bills: one of which increases participation in federal prescription drug take-back programs; and another that requires Medicare Advantage plans and prescription drug plans to provide information on safe disposals.

You all sent me to Washington to cut wasteful spending and of course to, “make ‘em squeal,” and I am continuing to deliver on that promise.

Earlier this year, I successfully pushed Senate leadership to cancel our August recess and stay in session to work on our nation’s budget and spending bills; one of our fundamental jobs.

One of my proudest moments as a U.S. Senator was watching the VA MISSION Act--bipartisan legislation that improves veterans’ access to health care services-- be signed into law.

I helped to secure final passage of the bill, and was thrilled to see my VETS Act included, which will finally allow our rural or homebound veterans in Iowa, and across the U.S., to receive necessary care from the comfort of their homes.

One last area I’d like to highlight is my work on bipartisan anti-sexual harassment legislation.

There is no place for sexual harassment in our schools, workplaces, military or anywhere else. This legislation, which unanimously passed the House and the Senate last week, will ensure members of Congress are held to the same standards as the rest of the country when it comes to sexual harassment. 

Lastly, I want to say thank you. I love Iowa. I love the people of Iowa, and I am truly blessed by the opportunity to serve as your United States Senator.

I will continue to work hard and fight for you every day.  May God bless you and yours this holiday season.  And may God bless these great United States of America.

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