Iowan To Joni Ernst: The ACA Helped My Rural Hospital

Sen. Joni Ernst told a crowd of constituents at a recent town hall meeting her “commitment to rural America is very strong” because she lives in rural Iowa. Josh Dahle challenged that statement, explaining to Ernst how the Affordable Care Act benefited a rural hospital where he used to work, and how her votes to repeal the ACA were, in fact, not good for rural America. Rather than make a humanitarian argument for the ACA — that all Americans should have health insurance — Dahle said he has reframed the discussion around economics when talking to Republicans about the benefits […]

After Judiciary Appointment, Joni Ernst Backs All Trump Judges In 2019

President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have taken it upon themselves to stack the federal courts with conservative judges, an effort Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst has aided in lockstep. Ernst, Iowa’s junior U.S. senator, was appointed to the influential Judiciary Committee in January, tasked in part with vetting judicial nominees. “As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I’ve worked hard to get a record number of President Donald J. Trump’s judicial nominees on the bench,” Ernst said, in an Aug. 8 Facebook post. According to Ernst, since Trump took office in January 2017, 44 Circuit Court […]

Rep. Cindy Axne Calls For Federal Investigation Into EPA’s Biofuel Waivers

In the wake of news an Iowa-based biofuels producer will cut jobs and production due to the Environmental Protection Agency’s proliferation of “Small Refinery Exemptions” for oil companies, Iowa congresswoman Cindy Axne called for a federal investigation into the Trump Administration’s controversial policy. Axne held a press conference Wednesday afternoon at Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy in Council Bluffs to highlight the letter she sent to the EPA’s acting inspector general, Charles Sheehan. “I remember hearing the president say that he’s the best thing to ever happen to farmers,” said Axne, at the press conference. “As a matter of fact, that’s […]

IA-Sen: Christie Vilsack Weighs In With Greenfield Endorsement

Christie Vilsack, the former First Lady of Iowa, has weighed in on Democrats’ effort to win a seat in the U.S. Senate with her endorsement today of Theresa Greenfield. “With all the gridlock and mudslinging in Washington, Theresa Greenfield is exactly the kind of commonsense leader Iowans need fighting for our families in the Senate,” said Christie Vilsack, Tuesday in a statement. It’s one more high-profile endorsement for Greenfield, who has seen most of party leadership quickly coalesce around her candidacy to take on Joni Ernst. The Iowa contest should prove to be a top national target for Democrats as […]

Iowa’s Joni Ernst, Chuck Grassley Noncommittal On Gun Control

All eyes will turn to the Senate in September when lawmakers return to the Capitol with a host of issues to tackle, chief among them gun safety legislation already approved by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives. In the wake of two August mass shootings that killed 31 people in two states, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told a Louisville, Kentucky, radio station that discussions on background checks would be “front and center,” in addition to so-called red flag laws. Will the Republican-led Senate take up House Resolution 8, requiring background checks on all gun sales, or will it craft a […]

Iowans Find Emotional Refuge In Pete Buttigieg

Living in a country with a president who thrives on division can be emotionally taxing for Americans seeking a better way forward. That was the message several voters conveyed over two days of Pete Buttigieg campaign events last week in Southeast Iowa. “This helps,” said Joan Crowe, of rural Lee County, describing the despair and hopelessness she has felt during President Donald Trump’s administration. “Listening to people talk wisely and kindly, and noticing how many are here a whole year and two-three months before we will vote.” Crowe was awaiting Buttigieg’s arrival at a park along the Mississippi River in […]

New TV Ad, Mobile Billboard Will Hit Joni Ernst On Health Care

For Iowans, politics at the State Fair is as inevitable as enjoying fried food on a stick. Like it or not, it’s there, and nearly inescapable. On Saturday, fairgoers won’t bump into many people running for president, but they might see Sen. Joni Ernst — on a billboard, that is. Along with a picture of Ernst, the mobile billboard will display her phone number in the Senate — (202) 915-9462 — and a message: “Tell Her To Stop Voting To Gut Our Health Care.” “We need Senator Ernst to stop supporting increases in our health care costs, especially on older […]

End Citizens United To Candidates: Talk Campaign Finance Reform

From gun control legislation to immigration reform and health care policy, presidential candidates have no shortage of issues to talk with Iowa voters about as they traverse the state ahead of February’s first-in-the-nation caucuses. End Citizens United, a nationwide organization dedicated to ridding politics of corporate financing, has a different, top-line issue on its mind: campaign finance reform. Not only does the group want candidates to emphasize their agenda in Iowa and the Democratic primary, they want it carried out in the White House. “We’ve called on the entire presidential field to make comprehensive anti-corruption reform legislation the very first […]

A Tale Of Two Candidates; The Old And New In Burlington Visits

At the outset of his speech last week in Burlington, former Vice President Joe Biden told the crowd his remarks would be different than planned. “I planned on coming … to talk about agriculture policy, unions, rural policy, etc.,” said Biden, at a barn-themed event space in rural Burlington. “But too much has happened in the recent past, and I have prepared for me, what is a speech that I hope will set a marker for what we should be doing.” For some in the audience, comprised in part by local party leaders and labor union officials, Biden’s speech sounded […]

Hastily-Assembled Gun Reform Forum Highlights Pain, Promise

In the midst of one of the busiest weekends of the Iowa caucus season to date, more than a dozen candidates carved out time in their packed schedules to attend the Presidential Gun Sense Forum. Organized by Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action, 16 candidates answered questions from a two-person panel and members of the audience. Several candidates submitted video messages, including Beto O’Rourke, the former Texas congressman who represented El Paso, Texas, the site of an Aug. 3 mass shooting. The other presidential candidates included: Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan; Montana Gov. Steve Bullock; New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand; […]