Ernst Week in Review

From Cedar County to Union County and countless stops in between, Senator Joni Ernst was crisscrossing Iowa this past week on her 99 County Tour meeting with Iowans of all ages and hearing from folks about the issues most important to them!

She kicked-off her week across the state in Cedar County at the Freedom Rock Dedication Ceremony in Tipton. More than 20 years ago, State Representative Bubba Sorensen set out to paint a unique rock in every one of Iowa’s 99 counties to honor and thank our veterans. The Freedom Rock in Cedar County is the 81st rock to be completed.

Senator Ernst speaking at the Cedar County Freedom Rock dedication ceremony.

Senator Ernst with a local law enforcement officer at the Cedar County Freedom Rock.

The next stop for Ernst was the NewBo Market in Cedar Rapids and the Linn County Fair. During her visit to the market and fair, the senator had a chance to hear from Iowans in the Linn County area as well as discuss some issues that local leaders in the area face. At the county fair, Senator Ernst judged the “Make it with Bacon” contest. And the winner? A bacon apple pie!

Senator Ernst with the “Make it with Bacon” contest-winning bacon apple pie!

Senator Ernst visiting with a group of veterans at the Linn County Fair.

In Cedar Rapids, Senator Ernst had the opportunity to present a number of medals to the family of U.S. Army Specialist, Darrell Eugene Washburn. Specialist Washburn served in the Vietnam War and received the Purple Heart, among other awards. Following the medals presentation, Senator Ernst made a stop in Benton County at Vinton’s historic Palace Theatre. During her visit she had an opportunity to tour the facility and meet with volunteers and Iowans visiting the theatre.  

Senator Ernst presenting medals to a member of the Washburn family.

Senator Ernst with members of the Washburn family.

Next on her 99 County Tour, Senator Ernst visited Delaware County, touring their Stanley Black & Decker facility in Delhi. During her visit of the facility, the senator took questions from employees and spoke about a number of issues important to the manufacturing community, like the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

Senator Ernst during the tour of the Stanley Black & Decker facility.

Senator Ernst taking questions from employees at Stanley Black & Decker.

Back in Cedar Rapids, Senator Ernst spoke to a large crowd at the Cedar Rapids Downtown Rotary Club luncheon. During her remarks Ernst provided an update on some important issues she’s working on for Iowans in Washington, like helping secure E15 year-round, working to lower the cost of prescription drugs, and fighting for paid parental leave.

Senator Ernst speaking with the Cedar Rapids Downtown Rotary Club.

Following her speaking engagement at the downtown rotary, Senator Ernst was in Eldridge for the announcement of a new partnership between Iowa’s LMT Defense and the Estonian military. During the ceremony, Ernst spoke about the importance of Iowa continuing to play a leading role in the United States’ partnership with Estonia—one of our most dependable allies.

Senator Ernst at the LMT Defense-Estonia partnership signing ceremony.

Ahead of her Clinton County public town hall meeting, Senator Ernst met with local county officials. During the discussion, Senator Ernst took questions and discussed topics such as Opportunity Zones and infrastructure issues. Following the meeting with local officials, Ernst hosted her Clinton County town hall. She heard from a number of Iowans in the area about issues important to them like the cost of prescription drugs, the senator’s role on the Judiciary Committee, as well as overall bipartisanship in Washington.

Senator Ernst speaking at her Clinton County town hall meeting.

Senator Ernst listening to a question from a constituent at her Clinton County town hall meeting.

Up next on her 99 County Tour, Senator Ernst hosted another public town hall meeting, this one in Winneshiek County. During this town hall, the senator heard from constituents in the area about a number of issues, including immigration, the humanitarian crisis at the border, as well as what’s being done to address the national debt. This town hall was held at Luther College in Decorah.

Senator Ernst answering questions at her Winneshiek County town hall.

Senator Ernst with Dr. Jenifer Ward, president of Luther College.

Following her town hall meeting in Decorah, Senator Ernst held a roundtable with Northewast Iowa veterans service officers (VSO) in Fayette County. During her discussions with these local leaders, they asked the senator about the implementation of the VA MISSION Act and other issues they’re hearing about from veterans across the state. After her VSO roundtable, Senator Ernst was in Chickasaw County for a facility tour of Deb El Foods, Inc. This company specializes in egg production and discussed their work with the senator during her visit. 

Senator Ernst with Northeast Iowa veterans service officers.

Senator Ernst discussing veterans issues with VSOs in Fayette County.

Senator Ernst visits Deb El Foods in Chickasaw County.

After her visit to Deb El Foods, Senator Ernst visited the Meskwaki Settlement in Tama County. During her visit and tour of the reservation, Ernst met with tribal leadership and discussed issues like infrastructure and apprenticeship programs. Following this visit, Senator Ernst spoke with the Grinnell Rotary Club in Poweshiek County. Members of the rotary club had the opportunity to ask Ernst questions about her efforts to “make Washington squeal,” including her CENTS Act, which would allow the U.S. Mint to use cheaper matrials to produce coins.

Senator Ernst speaking to the Grinnell Rotary Club in Poweshiek County.

The last stop of her 99 County Tour this week was in Union County for the Veteran’s Appreciation Breakfast celebarting the town of Creston’s sesquicentennial! Senator Ernst had the chance to serve veterans biscuits and gravy and then hear heartwarming stories of men, women, and families who have served our country in uniform.

Senator Ernst meeting veterans in Union County.

Senator Ernst serving up biscuits and gravy at the Union County Veteran’s Breakfast.