AMES, Iowa – During the Story County Republican Party breakfast on Tuesday, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, contrasted Iowa’s governance with Biden Administration and Congressional Democrats’ policies.
“While I may wonder about leadership at the federal level, I never falter when I take a look at Iowa. And I see who is at the helm here with Governor Reynolds in our phenomenal legislature and doing the right thing and focusing on taxes, our economy here in Iowa, getting through COVID, you know, very strong,” she said. “Iowa is so much stronger and in a better place than so many other states.”
Ernst pointed out that there have been several bills passed without Republican support.
“We started off the year with a $1.9 trillion spending package focused on COVID. We’re coming out of COVID. Iowans are coming out of COVID. And yet we continue to spend and spend and spend. Now our national debt is nearing $30 trillion. And yet, that didn’t slow them down. You know, they pushed out the money in January, knowing that most of the money that had already been appropriated for COVID wasn’t even spent yet, wasn’t even spent yet. So another couple of trillion out the door. And yet, oh, that didn’t slow them down. Now we’re considering a three-and-a-half trillion dollar package, which focuses on the Green New Deal,” she said.
Ernst pointed out that the $3.5 trillion spending package expands social programs, lowers the age for Medicare, and increases the Medicaid rates. U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, was in Cedar Rapids on Sunday to promote the bill.
“We’re just talking about expanding programs that keep people comfortable in poverty. We are not winning the war on poverty by expanding those social programs. So we see so much piled into the three-and-a-half trillion-dollar package that I can’t even tell you everything that’s in that package right now,” she said.
Ernst pointed out that the spending package will be paid for by raising taxes and said President Joe Biden promised not to raise taxes on Americans earning less than $400,000 a year. However, she emphasized that it isn’t possible.
“You can’t pay for all of these spending packages without hitting the middle income workers. It doesn’t work that way. We know everybody is going to pay for the spending that’s going on at the federal level,” she said.
Ernst pointed out the Biden Administration’s plan to eliminate the “Step-Up in Basis,” which would increase the inheritance tax on many Americans. In Iowa, the tax policy would impact family farms the most since families would have to pay taxes on the appreciation of the property, leading families to have to sell land to pay the tax.
“I just have a hard time really thinking of anything positive right now moving through Congress that that is worth doing right now,” she said. “We have a lot of great bipartisan bills. I’m not saying that. But the large packages that we see moving are large in part are only supported by Democrats. And it’s adding to our considerable debt. And I just hate that we’re putting this on the backs of our children and grandchildren,” she said.
Ernst turned her attention to Afghanistan before introducing U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who headlined the breakfast.
“This is probably probably the largest debacle that we have seen in our United States history over many, many decades. This eclipses probably what we saw in Vietnam. I know this is greater than really anything I can think of in my lifetime. And it is so disappointing because I know that there are so many veterans out of Iowa that have served both active duty and reserves, and, of course, our phenomenal Iowa National Guardsmen that have contributed in the Global War on Terror,” she said.
Ernst, a combat veteran in the Global War on Terror, rejected President Biden’s statement that the United States participated in a civil war. Instead, she said our actions were counter-terrorism and kept the nation safe for the last 20 years.
She argued that the Biden Administration just provided “a free for all in Afghanistan” for terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda, the Haqqani Network, and ISIS-K to reconstitute.
In closing her remarks, Ernst pointed back to Iowa.
“I’ve struggled to find great things to talk about in the federal government. You know, Kim Reynolds has this laundry list of wonderful accomplishments here in the state of Iowa. And it is so hard right now to name things that are really going right at the federal government level. But one thing remains true. And that is that the United States still is the greatest nation on the face of the planet. That will always be true, because the strength of the United States is not necessarily coming from who sits in the Oval Office. The strength of the United States comes from all of her people. And that is all of you,” she concluded.