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Senator Joni Ernst talks healthcare, immigration, Trump

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) —  U.S Senator Joni Ernst was back in Iowa Sunday, honoring one of her fellow veterans.

During her visit, she spent a few moments to talk with KWWL about the following issues.

1. Healthcare

One of the things the Republican senator said she’s focusing on is helping those who can’t necessarily help themselves.

“First and foremost, we must make sure we are protecting those that have preexisting conditions,” Senator Ernst said. “We want to make sure, that if pharmaceutical companies are developing drugs that they then can be passed along to the consumer at a more reasonable price.”

Multiple bills Senator Ernst hopes to tackle anti-competitive practices by big pharma, as well as preventing those companies from transferring patents to Native American tribes.

The senator says she supports repealing the affordable care act, instead supporting a free market.

2. Immigration.

An issue further south, Senator Ernst says the U.S needs to find ways to allow migrants to apply for asylum in their home countries, hoping to curve the mass exodus to the border.

“Securing our southern border is very important that’s the piece of the solution as well, but then making sure we modernizing our immigration plan is the next step,” The Republican Senator said.

3. Environment.

In 2018, 34% of Iowa’s energy came from wind turbines.

The Republican senator feels those clean energy efforts in Iowa are something other states could imitate.

“It’s a partnership not necessarily a mandate and we have been able to foster that here in Iowa without heavy-handed regulations,” Senator Ernst said.

4. Allegations against President Trump.

“Any accuser should be heard,” Senator Ernst said.

According to CNN, Senator Ernst is one of only a few Republicans in the Senate to suggest an investigation regarding rape allegations against President Trump by author Jean E. Carroll.

“Every accuser, someone that has experienced what she has said ,should be heard but it’s not up to us on what were the facts of those cases,” The Senator said.

A survivor herself, Senator Ernst hopes to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.

“I think it’s very important that we have these really uncomfortable conversations about sexual assault, sexual harassment, and make sure we are fostering dialogue out there that will make this community a safer place,” said Senator Ernst.

5. Trump in North Korea

“That was a very historic event with President Trump crossing into North Korea,” said Senator Ernst.

On the topic of dialogue, the senator says she hopes the president’s meeting with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, will be fruitful despite past negotiations seeming to stall.

“I do support the president as he is trying to engage with some of these countries that we don’t necessarily support but we need to have dialogue with,” the Republican senator said.

President Trump currently faces criticism for a playful interaction with Russian President Vladimir Putin and a breakfast with the Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman.

“The president has a very unusual style of negotiating and working with other leaders of foreign governments, but it is important as Congress we do have oversight as well,” said Senator Ernst.

Senator Ernst says maintaining relations with U.S allies is not just up to the president but Congress as well.

Senator recently announced her campaign for reelection in 2020. Her main opponent seems to be Democrat Theresa Greenfield.

You can rewatch part 2 of our interview below.


KWWL Reporter

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