Just over a year ago, I joined my colleagues—Democrats and Republicans—on the front steps of the United States Capitol for the inauguration of President Biden. He told the American People that day that he would be a president for all Americans and unify the country.
One year in, I couldn’t be more disappointed.
Instead of bringing the country together, President Biden has spent much of his time in office bending to the demands of the far Left in his party. Shortly after being sworn in, he signed over 25 executive orders—significantly more than any president in recent history. He then proceeded to work with Democrats in Congress, and Democrats alone, to pass a $2 trillion package full of liberal wish list items and partisan pet projects using “COVID relief” as a smokescreen. Since then, he’s worked overtime to earn support for the most reckless tax-and-spending spree in history, to usher in a federal takeover of America’s elections, and to destroy the Senate. Fortunately, even some in his own party wouldn’t go along with these radical efforts.
While the Biden administration has been laser-focused on spending hardworking Iowa taxpayers’ every penny and silencing their voices, crisis after crisis continues to unfold.
The southern border is a national security nightmare. In 2021 illegal border crossings skyrocketed, and Customs and Border Protection agents encountered nearly two million migrants, including 146,054 unaccompanied children. The Vice President, tasked with leading the administration’s response to this crisis, has yet to take decisive action to keep Americans safe, stop this humanitarian disaster, and secure our border.
After promising to get every American home from Afghanistan before a withdrawal of U.S. forces, it has now been five months since President Biden’s hasty and haphazard exit and we still have Americans and allies stranded and left behind—in a country now controlled by the Taliban. The new government is led by members of the FBI’s Most Wanted List and known terrorists who have little respect for the basic human rights of women. I led every single female senator in a letter to the president calling on him to protect Afghan women and girls, but little to nothing has changed. We’ve hung those who aided our mission in the region out to dry, our allies and partners now question America’s leadership, and our adversaries are emboldened. These actions have serious ramifications—look no further than Putin’s aggression towards Ukraine.
Here at home, I hear from my neighbors and friends in Red Oak and across Iowa almost every week who are struggling to put food on their tables, to put gas in their cars, and to heat their homes. Inflation is at the highest point in nearly 40 years—and it’s pinching the pocketbooks of Iowans. In grocery stores and at manufacturing sites, broken supply chains continue to impact our businesses. But instead of addressing these concerns that are at the forefront for a majority of Americans, this administration has focused on the radical demands of the liberal left.
Iowans are worried what the next three years could bring—and rightly so. President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Democrats in Congress need to start listening to folks outside the Washington, D.C. bubble – like Senator Grassley and I do on our 99 County Tours – and address their everyday needs. If they don’t, our country will continue to pay the price.
Joni Ernst, a native of Red Oak and a combat veteran, represents Iowa in the United States Senate.