It was a busy week in Washington and Iowa last week! From meeting with the Iowa Farm Bureau and Corn Congress to touring opportunity zones with Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and severe weather damage in the Des Moines area, Senator Ernst has been hard at work for the men and women of the Hawkeye State.

National News 

On Wednesday, Senator Ernst joined Dana Perino on The Daily Briefing to talk trade and the Citizens Against Government Waste 2018 Congressional Pig Book. Roll Call also covered some of the Senator’s remarks on the Pig Book and her efforts to Make ‘em Squeal in Washington!

 

Senator Ernst also joined Willie Geist and crew on Morning Joe on Thursday to discuss the Helsinki Summit, trade and her efforts on paid family leave. The Senator stressed that she has the utmost faith in the U.S. intelligence community and their assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.  Russia has never been a friend to the U.S., and they continue to pose a threat to America and our allies.

Iowa News

This week, Senator Ernst met with the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Corn Congress attendees, and the Iowa Farm Bureau where the topics were: trade, trade, trade and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).  She then talked with NBC News’ Vaughn Hillyard about the importance of meeting with these constituent groups and sent a clear message that we must preserve the RFS and work to get trade deals done soon.

On Thursday, Senator Ernst hosted a conference call for Iowa press. Outlets from across Iowa—and even from the Omaha World-Herald—joined the call to discuss opportunity zones, trade, farm bill updates and more. KMA Land’s Mike Peterson reported on Senator Ernst’s comments on the importance of opportunity zones for the Iowa economy:

“If there are other entities that have looked for a way to gain foothold in an organization, and for the betterment of that community, that's what we would like to see. So, if we are able to provide those funds in that Opportunity Zone, development [sic.] some of the infrastructure that's within those zones, get those businesses located in those zones, we think it would be so much better, not only for the property tax base, but for employability opportunities.”

While James Lynch with the Gazette, touched on other issues like: trade, Russia and the farm bill.  

Also this week, Senator Ernst issued a strong response to White House trade advisor Peter Navarro telling CNBC that the economic impact of a trade war is a mere “rounding error,” and that the administration is playing a broader “chess board.” Agri-Pulse and Politico Morning Trade reported on Senator Ernst’s remarks: “In Iowa alone, more than 456,000 jobs are supported by trade, and these new tariffs are threatening $977 million in state exports.  That is no ‘rounding error.’”

On Friday, Senator Ernst toured tornado damage in Marshalltown and Bondurant, and spoke with leaders in the area to ensure Iowans that her office is ready to help. Our Quad Cities covered Governor Reynolds and Sen. Ernst’s tour of the damaged areas.  

In other news…

Early in the week, Senator Ernst, as well as the entire Iowa delegation, invited U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler to visit Iowa and hear directly from those who rely upon the RFS.

Speaking of the RFS, at a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing this week, Senator Ernst questioned Mary Bridget Neumayr—a nominee to lead the Council on Environmental Quality—about the RFS and year-round E15. In response to Senator Ernst’s questions, Ms. Neumayr stated that, if confirmed, she will seek to support RFS implementation consistent with the intent of the law, congressional directives and the President’s commitments.  She also pledged to engage with the biofuels industry and all key stakeholders when dealing with any issue pertaining to the RFS.

On Tuesday, CNN reported that Senator Ernst has been appointed to the Senate North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Observer Group. The Senate NATO Observer Group was re-established by Senators Tillis and Shaheen in 2018 with an expanded mission to closely monitor and inform Senators outside of national security committees about defense spending commitments of Alliance members, the process of upgrading military capabilities, the Alliance’s counterterrorism capability, NATO enlargement and the ability of NATO member states to address non-conventional warfare.