WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) issued the following statement regarding Senate Democrats’ decision to shut down the federal government:

“Over the years, I’ve made clear that I don’t like funding our federal government from one short-sighted, band-aid bill to another. We must establish plans to responsibly fund our government long-term.

“However, the extension voted on tonight would have reauthorized the Children’s Health Insurance Program for six years, providing approximately 80,000 Iowa children with access to important health care services, especially in rural and underserved areas. Unfortunately, Senate Democrats are playing political games and opposed our efforts to ensure this critical funding is in place for children in Iowa and across the country.

“The Senate Democrats who chose to play politics with children’s health care also set arbitrary deadlines regarding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). America is a nation of immigrants, and our diversity is our strength. It’s incredibly important that we find a fix for DACA recipients as they are so important to our communities and to our future. Many young, undocumented children were brought here through no fault of their own. Congress has been and must continue to work together to identify and pursue a measured approach that addresses DACA recipients’ unique situation, and also respects the importance of our immigration laws, keeps our borders secure, and discourages future illegal immigration. There is still time to achieve a solution, but holding the government hostage and stalling important discussions on DACA is nonsensical.  

“Additionally, despite their rhetoric otherwise, Senate Democrats are turning their back on our men and women in uniform by putting our military’s resources and readiness in jeopardy. It is inexcusable.

“It’s my hope that Senate Democrats will put their reckless games aside and start working with us on a path forward to fund the government, ensure low-income children have access to health care, provide the resources our military needs, and find a solution for DACA recipients.”