WASHINGTON – Ahead of President Joe Biden’s joint address of Congress on Wednesday night, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, led Senate Republicans’ “pre-buttal” of the speech. Ernst criticized Democrats for ignoring bipartisanship and working in a partisan manner to undo what she believes were successful policies under President Trump and to direct more spending toward progressive policies.
She also noted that her friend, U.S. Senator Tim Scott, R-S.C., would give the Republican response to President Biden. “No one better represents the type of positive leadership we need to unify our nation than Tim. He truly is the perfect voice for the American dream,” Ernst said.
Read the transcript of her remarks below:
“It’s been nearly 100 days since President Biden delivered his Inaugural Address, promising our nation ‘unity, not division.’
“He called on all of us to ‘listen to one another,’ noting that unity ‘requires more than words.’
“I was there and I was listening. I was hopeful that he actually meant what he said.
“But, that very same day, as soon as he reached the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, President Biden seemed to forget his own words as he began signing a record number of executive orders.
“With the stroke of a pen, he unilaterally created a new migrant crisis by reversing the previous administration’s successful policies and ceasing construction of the wall.
“He also killed thousands of jobs for American workers by canceling the XL pipeline.
“And that was just his first day on the job!
“Since then, the President and his Democratic allies in Congress have used a partisan process to fast track trillions of dollars of new spending for their pricey pet projects.
“Despite the President’s call for us to listen to one another, the Democrats are planning to once again fast track another $2.2 trillion package being sold as an “infrastructure” bill, even though it spends less on roads and bridges than it does on parts of the Socialist Green New Deal and other progressive priorities.
“And then right after that they want to ram through another $1 trillion for so-called “human infrastructure.”
“The Democrats are threatening to end the right of senators to debate by abolishing the filibuster so they can shove through their extreme agenda.
“This would fundamentally change the Senate which has long been known as the world’s – not just America’s, but the world’s – greatest deliberate body, in which every state has equal representation and every senator is given a voice in our national conversations.
“It’s an interesting twist for the party that just a year ago proudly ‘resisted’ nearly every effort put forth to address the problems facing our nation.
“For purely partisan political reasons, Democrats even filibustered – yes, they filibustered – the JUSTICE Act that would have provided police reform following the deaths of George Floyd and others.
“This week the nation will have the opportunity to hear from the author of that bill, my dear friend Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina who is delivering the Republican response to the President’s address this evening.
“No one better represents the type of positive leadership we need to unify our nation than Tim. He truly is the perfect voice for the American dream.
“Growing up in a poor, single-parent household, Tim’s mother worked hard to make ends meet.
“Despite some early challenges and setbacks, Tim successfully started his own business and was chosen time and again to serve in public office.
“As a senator, Tim is focused on creating opportunities for others by tapping into the potential of individuals and communities.
“Tim listens and he works hard to bring people together.
“And folks, that is what President Biden promised to do, but he’s not living up to that promise.
“Frankly, the president only seems to be listening to the far-left progressives within the Democratic Party who live on their own liberal fantasy island.
“He and his liberal allies on the Left are pushing tax hikes on working Americans while giving tax breaks to wealthy coastal elites.
“They are bringing back corrupt and costly earmarks.
“Democrats want to defund the police and abolition ICE.
“They want to remake nearly every aspect of our economy with their radical Green New Deal.
“The Democrats are plotting to pack the Supreme Court with ultra-liberal justices and destroy that institution.
“And to pad their numbers in Congress, Democrats are attempting to make Washington, DC, a state.
“Does that sound like the unity and bipartisanship we were promised on day one? It sure doesn’t, folks.
“If President Biden actually listened to the voices of Americans who live outside of the D.C. Swamp, he wouldn’t be hearing a demand for any of those radical proposals.
“The Senate is split 50-50 while Democrats hold a razor-slim majority in the House of Representatives.
“And according to a recent Gallup poll, an overwhelming two-thirds of Americans say they are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the United States.
“Based upon those responses, it sounds like the Democrats’ radical agenda is dividing, not unifying our country.
“Iowans want Democrats and Republicans to set aside partisan differences and work together on our national interests.
“They want students to be able to safely return to their classroom and for folks to go back to work.
“Iowans want us to fix our roads and bridges and expand broadband to rural areas.
“They worry about the growing global influence of communist China and the humanitarian and national security crisis on our southern border.
“They want us to protect the American Dream for future generations.
“Folks, we can do this.
“President Biden, if you are listening, please hear me out.
“Giving into the deafening demands of the loudest on the Left and attempting to silence half of the country will not solve our problems, it will only divide us more.
“To succeed, we need to consider the voices of all Americans and speak to what unites us so we can overcome our challenges, and we can overcome these challenges together.”