Last night, Joni Ernst gave the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address. The freshman Senator from Iowa gave an eloquent, yet rehearsed rebuttal that gave no indication she has only worked in Washington for a few weeks.
While Senator Ernst did talk about the state of the nation, she refused to directly rebut Obama’s speech.
"Tonight though, rather than respond to a speech, I'd like to talk about your priorities,” she said.
The priorities she laid out start with the new Republican Congress that she believes will make Washington function again. She recounts her childhood experiences of living on a farm and bringing that hard working mentality to Congress.
She explained that the Keystone pipeline will create thousands of jobs and have little environmental impact. The Republicans will take the bill to the President’s desk if it recieves a majority vote in the Senate.
"President Obama will soon have a decision to make: will he sign the bill, or block good American jobs?”
Senator Ernst did talk about bipartisan issues as well. She explained that trade barriers in Europe and the Pacific can be broken with the President’s support. Fixing the tax code and closing loopholes was another proposal. The President called for both of these issues in his speech.
One proposal that the Republican’s will probably run away with is the fight against ISIS. While the President did reaffirm that importance of passing an authorization for use of military force in Iraq and Syria, Republicans are in full support of destroying the terrorist groups that pose a threat to U.S. national security.
"The forces of violence and oppression don't care about the innocent. We need a comprehensive plan to defeat them.”
As a Lt. Colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard, Ernst made an appeal to honor America’s veterans and promised to fight for their quality of care. She touched on core conservative principles as well.
"We'll propose ideas that aim to cut wasteful spending and balance the budget - with meaningful reforms, not higher taxes like the President has proposed,” she said. “And we'll defend life, because protecting our most vulnerable is an important measure of any society.”
Repealing Obama's healthcare law, correcting executive overreach, and confronting Iran’s nuclear ambitions were mentioned as attempts to critic Obama and his proposals.
She ended with rhetoric explaining the economic struggles that still exist and how Republicans are ready to champion the middle class.
“You just need the freedom to dream big, and a whole lot of hard work,” she said. “The new Republican Congress you elected is working to make Washington understand that too.”