DES MOINES, Iowa – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said she is outraged by President Joe Biden’s executive action to protect abortion access.
During a press call on Wednesday morning, The Iowa Torch asked her opinion of the executive order and whether she believed it was constitutional.
“I don’t believe it is. I don’t think that the President should be issuing an executive order when it comes to abortion,” she said.
“This has been referred back to the states and local authorities by our United States Supreme Court. So this is not a national emergency,” Ernst added.
“I am outraged by the President’s actions. And I know that there are a lot of heated arguments and discussions that will happen because of this decision. That’s okay. I just want to remind everybody that a decision has been made by an independent branch of the federal government. It will go back to those states, those governors, those elected representatives for decisions to be made that will be right for those states. So a lot more debate to follow, but I don’t believe the President should have engaged in the way that he did when it comes to abortion issues,” she added.
Ernst did not commit to federal action on abortion when asked by Stephen Gruber-Miller of The Des Moines Register.
“I am adamantly pro-life. And I do believe that the Supreme Court made the right decision in the dobs case by sending these decisions back to state and local authorities. So again, adamantly pro-life, and I’m anxious to see what the Iowa legislature and the governor will be debating on this issue,” she said.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Gov. Kim Reynolds said that legal challenges are her “preferred strategy” for addressing the abortion issue.
“We’re going to fight this in the courts, and we’re going to stick to that course until we have run that. And then we’ll step back and see what to do next. But for right now, that’s the strategy that we’re going to implement,” she said.
The Iowa Supreme Court declined to hear the case where they overruled their 2018 ruling that claimed a right to abortion in Iowa’s Constitution a second time. The Iowa Supreme Court ruled (before the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Center) that the district court would have to reconsider the 24-hour waiting period for an abortion using the “undue burden” test provided by Planned Parenthood v. Casey instead of the strict scrutiny test required by the Iowa Supreme Court in 2018.
Reynolds wanted the Iowa Supreme Court to rehear the case in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs that overturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
Reynolds also said she plans to ask the district court to lift the injunction on Iowa’s fetal heartbeat abortion ban that restricts abortion to the first six weeks of pregnancy unless the mother’s life is at risk. If the district court refuses to lift the injunction, the governor’s office can appeal to the Iowa Supreme Court.
At the federal level, until Republicans in Congress have a majority and control of the White House, they lack the power to enact any legislation. In the past, Ernst has supported measures defunding Planned Parenthood, a 20-week abortion ban, and requiring abortion providers to provide lifesaving treatment to babies who survive abortion attempts.
Ernst works to address federal contractors with ties to Russia and China.
Ernst opened the press call, announcing that she co-sponsored bipartisan legislation designed to provide additional oversight for federal contractors.
Teaming up with U.S. Senators Gary Peters, D-Mich., and Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., the legislation – the Combating Obstructive National Security Underreporting of Legitimate Threats (CONSULT) Act – will prevent consulting firms from holding contracts with the United States while advising countries such as Russia, China, Iran, Syria, and North Korea.
Ernst said the bill is a response to recent reports about McKinsey and Company providing strategic advice for state-owned companies in China and Russia on militarization efforts while also being awarded national security contracts by the United States.
“Because adversaries like China and Russia are aggressively working against our national security interests. So why then would we allow government contractors closely tied to these adversaries to advise our military and Pentagon officials? At the very least, this is a conflict of interest. But more seriously, it poses a threat to our national security and makes us more susceptible to foreign interference. We’re playing a dangerous game. It’s past time we put safeguards in place to ensure no firms hired by the federal government are working simultaneously to support the agenda of our adversaries, like China and Russia,” she said.
Time to turn off the spending.
Ernst also said Washington Democrats needed to change their approach to inflation as inflation hit another 40-year high at 9.1 percent.
“It’s out of control and Iowans are feeling the pinch in their pocketbooks. And yet Democrats in Washington want to spend more and raise taxes on hardworking Americans and our small businesses. Today’s news should be a wake up call for my friends across the aisle. Now is not the time to raise taxes. Now is not the time to spend more. It’s time to unleash American energy and turn off the spending spigot,” she said.