Sen. Joni Ernst works hard

She also stays in constant touch with her fellow Iowans

Some members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives get so involved in their duties in Washington that they lose touch with the folks back home. Others spend time relentlessly courting their constituents but don’t accomplish much in Congress.

U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst is both a hard worker and an officeholder dedicated to regular dialogue with the voters she represents. To illustrate her approach, let’s take a few moments to reflect on what the Iowa Republican accomplished in August.

Congress was in recess much of the month. Many of its members used that as an excuse to take junkets to assorted foreign venues at taxpayer expense. That isn’t Ernst’s style. She spent a large portion of August back in the Hawkeye State communicating with her fellow Iowans.

To gain insights from voters and to explain her views to them, in August, Ernst held 11 town hall meetings at locations all across the state. Last month, she also continued to fulfill her pledge to spend time in every county every year. This year, that ambitious tour has already taken her to 82 of the state’s 99 counties. In August she visited Appanoose, Butler, Calhoun, Winnebago, Franklin, Fremont, Hancock, Kossuth, Dickinson and Emmet counties.

Additionally, Ernst convened in Des Moines an important field hearing of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee. The goal was to explore how the federal government could better partner with Iowans to address workforce challenges. At the hearing, Gov. Kim Reynolds had praise for how Ernst is approaching workforce issues at the federal level.

“Rather than pursuing a new federal program for every problem, we need people in Congress who, like Sen. Ernst, understand that more flexibility to the states to effectively and creatively implement solutions is a good thing,” the governor said.

Ernst has developed a reputation in Washington as not only hard-working, but also willing to collaborate with colleagues in finding bipartisan solutions for many of our country’s problems. She is making positive contribution to the nation’s legislative agenda.

In August, three of her bills were signed into law. One assists veterans faced with economic security challenges. A second helps farmers facing severe financial distress. The third makes life easier for small businesses in trouble. It simplifies their debt reorganization bankruptcy requirements so provisions meant for large corporations don’t unduly burden small enterprises.

Long ago, Charles Grassley, Iowa’s senior Republican senator, set a standard in terms of working tirelessly and being committed to frequent communication with voters that few members of the Senate can equal. Ernst has proven a worthy teammate who shares his approach to both hard work and listening to constituents. The Messenger applauds her efforts. We are lucky to have both of them representing our state.