Republican newcomer Ernst says Congress ready to change US direction
After State of the Union, subtle differences in English and Spanish GOP response.
WASHINGTON — The new Republican Congress understands Americans’ suffering from the economy, health care system and Washington gridlock — and it will steer the country away from President Barack Obama’s failed policies, the newly minted senator delivering her party’s official response to the State of Union address promised Tuesday.
The following is the full text of the Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, as prepared for delivery by Iowa Senator Joni Ernst. The freshman senator from Iowa, with less than a month of experience, in Washington, told Americans during her 9-minute rebuttal that the GOP is “working hard to pass the kind of serious job-creation ideas you deserve” that she said includes building the controversial Keystone pipeline. The military veteran — who won election with ads that talked about her experience castrating hogs — blasted ObamaCare and the perpetual gridlock on Capitol Hill. “Americans have been hurting, but when we demanded solutions, too often Washington responded with the same stale mind-set that led to failed policies like ObamaCare,” Ernst said. “It’s a mind-set that gave us political talking points, not serious solutions.” Ernst was sworn into the Senate just weeks ago, and her speech came as Republicans make an attempt to appeal to women and minorities ahead of the 2016 presidential election. “We heard the message you sent in November, loud and clear,” she said. “And now we’re getting to work to change the direction Washington has been taking our country.” The 44-year-old rookie politician spoke about the modest family farm she grew up on in Red Oak, Iowa. She called on Obama to cooperate with Republicans to simplify the tax code by lowering rates and eliminating unspecified loopholes and to ease trade barriers with Europe and Asia. Ernst also used the forum to hype the Keystone XL oil pipeline — which she called the “Keystone jobs bill” — a massive oil-delivery system from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico derided by environmentalists but touted by Republicans and some Democratic politicians as a job-creation project. “President Obama has been delaying this bipartisan infrastructure project for years, even though many members of his party, unions, and a strong majority of Americans support it,” Ernst said. “President Obama will soon have a decision to make: Will he sign the bill or block good American jobs?”
In his remarks, Obama said it was time to “turn the page” on years of war and economic weakness and turn to investments that would strengthen the country. Ernst also cited the recent terror attacks in France, Nigeria, Canada and Australia in her rebuttal and said lawmakers need to come up with a “comprehensive plan” to defeat terror groups like Al Qaeda and the Islamic State as well as those radicalized by them.
They delivered similar messages that stressed unique life stories, their commitment to family and how the Republican Congress plans to govern over the next year. With support from some Democrats, Republicans call the project a job creator while the White House has threatened a veto because of fears of environmental damage.
Ernst never muttered the word “immigration.” “Both her speech and my speech, I think, reflect a blend of the party’s priorities and ideas, and then some of our own priorities and ideas, too,” he added. Clawson, who won a special election seven months ago by marketing himself as “the outsider for Congress,” drew on his strong conservative grassroots base during his response.
To save for college, I worked the morning biscuit line at Hardees.” Curbelo mentioned that he was born in South Florida and called Miami “one of the most diverse cities in the country” and home to his young family. They came to this country in pursuit of freedom and the opportunity to work and invest in this great country.” Later, Ernst and Curbelo both talked about Americans who feel they’re being left behind by economic growth and concerned about the increased cost of living. “We see the hurt caused by cancelled health-care plans and higher monthly insurance bills. But when the American people have sought solutions from Washington, the government has responded with broken politics that has made the divide between the rich and poor greater.
Both were trying to make the same point: There are areas of agreement for both parties, and they hope that Obama will be able to work with Republicans on reaching bipartisan solutions. “Let’s simplify America’s outdated and loophole-ridden tax code,” she said. “Republicans think tax filing should be easier for you, not just the well-connected. We’re calling on him now to cooperate to pass them.” “By putting children and teachers first, we drastically improved the quality of education in our schools and the neediest students have been the ones that have benefited the most,” he said.
The President’s own State Department has said Keystone’s construction could support thousands of jobs and pump billions into our economy, and do it with minimal environmental impact. Of France, he said: “Our hearts go out to a nation in grief after such terrible tragedy.” Curbelo also added criticism Obama’s policy towards Cuba and Iran, who he said are led by “two brutal dictatorships which for decades have sought to do harm to the United States and our allies.” So let’s iron out loopholes to lower rates – and create jobs, not pay for more government spending. “The President has already expressed some support for these kinds of ideas.
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.
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