# Congress



Joni Ernst strangely quiet about post-Roe plans

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst has said little publicly about abortion since Politico published a draft opinion indicating that the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to overturn the Roe v Wade and Casey precedents. The topic wasn’t mentioned in any of the seven press releases her office has published since the news broke on May 2.

Speaking to the conservative network Newsmax the morning after Politico published the draft opinion, Ernst and her interviewer focused on the leak (which the senator described as “absolutely abhorrent”). They did not discuss how Republicans in Congress would respond to a decision sweeping away rights women have enjoyed for nearly five decades.

But according to an article by a well-sourced reporter, Ernst has been part of closed-door talks on the best way to ban abortion nationwide.

Continue Reading...

Why Iowa's senators voted against historic SCOTUS confirmation

The U.S. Senate made history on April 7 by confirming the first Black woman to the U.S. Supreme Court, with the country’s first Black vice president presiding. Three Republicans joined all 50 members of the Senate Democratic caucus to confirm Appeals Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, prompting loud applause in the chamber.

There was never any doubt that Iowa’s two Republicans would vote against this confirmation. However, Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst laid out their reasons for opposing Judge Brown Jackson only this week.

Continue Reading...

Violence Against Women Act reauthorized in big spending bill

President Joe Biden has signed into law a $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill, which funds the federal government through September 30. The president’s action on March 15 ends a cycle of short-term continuing spending resolutions that kept the government operating on spending levels approved during Donald Trump’s administration.

The enormous package combines twelve appropriations bills covering portions of the federal government, as well as an additional $13.6 billion in aid to Ukraine and several unrelated pieces of legislation. One of those reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act through 2027, a task that had remained unfinished for years. Congress last reauthorized the 1994 legislation addressing violence against women in 2013, and that authorization expired in 2019.

Iowa’s Senator Joni Ernst was a key negotiator of the final deal on the Violence Against Women Act and celebrated its passage this week.

Continue Reading...

Iowa must do better than Chuck Grassley

Herb Strentz reviews Senator Chuck Grassley’s record as a leading member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

A one-time Democratic candidate to represent Iowa in the U.S. Senate was only half right when he expressed concern in 2014 that Senator Chuck Grassley might be a threat to our nation’s judiciary.

The comment is relevant today because Grassley still serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee, as the panel’s ranking Republican. He will set the tone for how Republicans respond to President Joe Biden’s nomination of the first Black woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Continue Reading...

Strange GOP primary shaping up in IA-03

Iowa politics watchers and national forecasters agree that the third Congressional district is the only toss-up race among Iowa’s 2022 federal elections. Two-term Democratic incumbent Cindy Axne will face the winner of a three-way GOP primary.

The latest Federal Election Commission filings paint a confusing picture of the Republican race, rather than a clear path for the establishment favorite, State Senator Zach Nunn.

Continue Reading...
View More...