Ernst Week in Review

Honoring Sarah Root 

On January 31, 2016, the day of her college graduation, Iowa native Sarah Root was struck and killed by an illegal immigrant who was drag racing and driving extremely drunk. After he was charged, he was not detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and instead posted bail and disappeared.  Now, three years later, Sarah’s killer remains at large.

In honor of Sarah, this week, Senator Ernst took to the Senate floor to reintroduce her bill—Sarah’s Law—which would require federal law enforcement to detain illegal immigrants who are criminally charged with killing or seriously injuring another person. Ernst spoke to Fox News and Radio Iowa about the importance of getting Sarah’s Law passed.

Click here or on the image above to watch the whole interview.

Putting Iowa First 

Earlier this year, the Department of Education announced an initiative that would address the inappropriate use of restraint and seclusion in schools across the country. Senator Ernst has been engaged with the Department of Education on this issue, following allegations of misreporting of seclusion and restraint within the Cedar Rapids Community School District. KCRG covered Senator Ernst’s reaction to the new initiative, which you can watch here.

On Wednesday mornings when the Senate is session, you can find Senator Joni Ernst talking with Iowans over a warm cup of coffee. This week, Ernst held her inaugural Capitol Grounds constituent coffee for 2019! Check out some photos below. 


One of Senator Ernst’s favorite traditions is doing a ruck march in Washington, D.C. with fellow veterans and members of her staff to honor our nation’s veterans and servicemembers. Despite the cold weather—though not as cold as back home in Iowa—Senator Ernst pushed full-speed ahead on Wednesday night.

Ensuring the Enduring Defeat of ISIS and Al Qaeda 

The Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act, which was again considered by the Senate this week, is a bill that will help reinforce our alliances in the Middle East and keep pressure on the Assad regime in Syria. Ernst cosponsored an amendment to the bill that urges the Administration to ensure conditions have been met for the enduring defeat of al Qaeda and ISIS, as well as the protection of regional partners and allies, before withdrawing U.S. forces from Syria or Afghanistan.

Making ‘em Squeal

Senator Ernst was elected to make Washington “squeal.” She is always searching for and identifying areas of waste, fraud and abuse. Each month, Ernst gives out a “Squeal Award” which recognizes a Washington expense, program or concept that’s wasteful and must be cut.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) supported ten different cat studies—funded from grants totaling $1.3 million of taxpayer money—that concluded classical music has an effect on cat behaviors. These studies do not comply with a law requiring disclosure of the cost to taxpayers for a federally funded project. Senator Ernst has asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to find out why NIH studies are refusing to disclose the cost. These cat studies are another great example of taxpayer dollars being tossed around like a “ball of yarn,” and that’s why NIH received the January Squeal Award.

Communicating Priorities