Ernst Week in Review

Pushing for Greater Transparency in the Small Refinery Waiver Process

Senator Ernst continues to be a strong voice for Iowa farmers and ethanol producers, this time pushing bipartisan legislation that will bring greater transparency and predictability to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) small refinery exemption process. Senator Ernst has consistently relayed the need for this to President Trump and EPA Administrator Wheeler.

Senator Ernst is cosponsoring the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Integrity Act of 2019, which will halt the EPA’s harmful habit of handing out small refinery waivers like candy, and ensure the EPA properly accounts for exempted gallons in the annual renewable volume obligations it sets each November. This change needs to happen to ensure a robust RFS.

The Gazette covered Senator Ernst’s work to rein in small refinery exemptions.

Fighting for Disaster Assistance for Iowa’s Businesses, Homeowners

Senator Ernst continues to fight for Iowans affected by the spring flooding. This week she chaired a Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship hearing focused on the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) flood response in Iowa and across the Midwest.

Ernst highlighted the devastating impact of flooding in Iowa and recognized the significant role the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance has played in the recovery effort and how important it is to continue assessing the programs to ensure they’re providing “effective and timely assistance” to those impacted.

Click here or the image above for Senator Ernst’s opening statement.

The hearing included an Iowa witness, Lisa Shimkat, the state director of Iowa’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC). During Ms. Shimkat’s testimony, she outlined the work SBDC teams have been doing on the ground in Iowa, including coordinating with local business leaders and other partners to help Iowa businesses navigate through the process of cleanup and move toward recovery.

Click here or the image above for Ms. Shimkat’s testimony.

Pressuring the Army Corps to Prioritize Flood Control and Give Iowans a Voice

Iowans should have peace of mind knowing the Corps is not only hearing their needs, but prioritizing them. Senator Ernst is pressuring the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) to put a greater emphasis on flood control and give Iowans more of a voice in the decision-making process. 

That’s why she is cosponsoring two bills to put Iowa communities first in the eyes of the Corps—one that would make flood control the top priority for the Corps’ management of the Missouri River; and another to create a civilian advisory council to give Iowans a direct say in the Corps’ decision-making.

In addition, after calling on the Corps to address shortcomings in their communications, Senator Ernst has received a response from the Corps outlining their pledge to improve communication and provide regular updates, starting this month, to levee sponsors and those in harm’s way throughout the duration of flood season.

Joni at the Bat!

On Wednesday evening, Senator Ernst teamed up with her female Republican and Democratic Senate and House colleagues to take on the women members of Washington’s press corps at the Congressional Women’s Softball Game.

Senator Ernst in the Congressional Women’s Softball Game.

The game, which benefits the Young Survival Coalition, raises funds and awareness for young women with breast cancer. Senator Ernst played in honor of her friend, Theresa Margotta, who was diagnosed with breast cancer while she was pregnant with her second child. After a hard fought battle, the female Congressional team suffered defeat to the members of the press 10-3. KCRG captured the game.

Senator Ernst’s staff cheers her on at the Congressional Women’s Softball Game

Communicating Priorities