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Election Year Ernst is on an emergency mission.

Underwater with Iowa voters after a half-decade of embroiling herself in Washington corruption, Election Year Ernst is scrambling to erase her record of putting corporate special interests above the needs of Iowans. 

 

Now outside groups aligned with Mitch McConnell and Senator Ernst’s own dark money group are ready to spend millions of dollars desperately trying to help Ernst rewrite her record.

 

But from families struggling to afford health care, to students drowning in loan debt, to farmers forced to declare bankruptcy, Senator Ernst has thrown Iowans under the bus time and again.
 

Iowans know Washington changed Joni Ernst - and we’re going to keep holding her accountable as she tries to run from her disastrous record. 

Find Out More About Senator Ernst's

(Real) Record

Click the buttons to find out about all the people Joni stands with when it's not an election year.

Who Senator Ernst's Working For

Hint: It's not Iowans

 

Making Iowans Squeal

As Election Year Ernst returns to her signature broken promise – to "make Washington squeal" – nothing could be further from her real record of billion-dollar bailouts for big corporations and the wealthiest CEOs in Washington. 

 

On Senator Ernst's watch, corporate-sponsored corruption has only strengthened its stranglehold over our broken political system. While Senator Ernst cashes in campaign checks from corporate special interests, Iowans' hard-earned tax dollars are doled out to the very wealthiest of her Wall Street and big corporate donors.

 

 

Here’s Senator Ernst’s real record: 

 

  • Voted twice for a $500 billion corporate slush fund that could allow companies to fire workers while boosting CEO bonuses and buying back millions of dollars in stocks.

  • Campaigns on the 2017 GOP Tax Scam that’s adding $2 trillion to the debt, while Iowa jobs moved overseas and Main Street businesses were left behind.

  • Rubber-stamped million-dollar massive tax breaks for Washington's wealthiest politicians.

  • Opened the government's bank for the special interests pouring millions into her campaign, including:

    • Wall Street, which has contributed over $2 million to Ernst's campaign as the 2017 Tax Scam handed banks a "windfall" of $26 billion.

    • Big Pharma, which has contributed over $160,000 to Ernst while profiting at least $7 billion from the 2017 Tax Scam and leveraging the law for nearly $70 billion in stock buybacks.

    • Big Oil, which has contributed $420,000 to Ernst and is earning nearly $15 billion from the GOP Tax Scam.

Watch For Yourself:

Enabling Discrimination Against

Pre-Existing Conditions 

 

It takes a special kind of political indifference to brag about the "courage" to end coverage protections for pre-existing conditions. And that's precisely the toxic record that Election Year Ernst is desperately trying to run from to win re-election.

 

Just weeks into Election Year, Ernst's dark money group Iowa Values was already airing a false ad that said she "always looks out for those most in need, especially those with pre-existing conditions."

 

But if Ernst had her way, 1.3 million Iowans with pre-existing conditions could be priced out of the coverage they need. With 83% of voters supporting coverage protections, Election Year Ernst and her dark money group have launched a coordinated cover-up from her record of voting to rip health care away from Iowans. 

Ernst has taken

$500,000

from Big Pharma

and the Insurance

Industry

FACT CHECK:

Independent Fact Checks Confirm Election Year Ernst's Real Record on Pre-Existing Conditions

 

  • Voted to enable insurers to "charge more to those with pre-existing health conditions...different treatment fits the definition of discrimination." [KCRG, 9/30/2019]

  • Supported an effort that would allow some  insurance plans to "exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions." [Cedar Rapids Gazette, 4/13/2020]

  • Voted to repeal the ACA’s critical health protections for Iowans with pre-existing conditions. [Cedar Rapids Gazette, 9/30/2019]

 

Standing Against Prescription Drug Pricing Reform

As prescription drug prices go up for Iowans, Joni Ernst has spent her time in Washington siding with Big Pharma. 

 

But now that it's election year, Ernst has begun releasing a steady stream of press releases claiming she's "working toward" lowering prescription drug costs. 

 

But here’s the truth. While raking in over $160,000 from Big Pharma, Election Year Ernst has not only protected their corporate profits – she's led efforts that would cost Iowa seniors and families tens of millions of dollars more for the medicine they need.

 

  • Sponsored a bill allowing insurers to leave out prescription drug coverage, making “plans effectively useless for people who need ongoing treatment.” [Huff Post, 11/7/2018]

  • Supported efforts that would undercut fellow Iowa U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley's bill to cap the rising cost of prescription drugs. [Stat News, 1/7/2020]

  • Voted to slash open the patch on the Medicare donut hole that has saved Iowans $268 million on prescription drugs. [2/2/2015]

  • Opposed a bipartisan bill to import prescription drugs from Canada. [1/11/2017]

  • Refuses to support allowing Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug costs.

 

An Enabler Of McConnell's Broken Washington

Senator Ernst promised to be independent, but instead she’s been one of the most partisan politicians in Washington, even when it hurts Iowans

 

In an election-year rewrite literally years in the making, Ernst even released a political memoir in the lead-up to the general election, which was filled with "conflicting messages" that try to paper over her real record of being a part of the problem in Washington. 

 

What Election Year Ernst excluded to cite in her book is a telling footnote: she has consistently ranked one of the most hyper-partisan and ineffective senators in Washington.

 

One of Mitch McConnell's most loyal acolytes, Ernst's half-decade of hyper-partisanship hasn't just earned her ridicule across Iowa and the country – her harmful agenda has directly hurt Iowans on some of the biggest challenges we all face. 

 

  • Voted with her party 97% of the time, ranking her one of the most hyper-partisan senators.

  • Is one of the least effective senators in the country – passing zero of her 34 introduced bills into law in 2019. [GovTrack, 2019]

  • Consistently opposed signature bipartisan efforts, including prescription drug reform, Pell Grant expansions, and funding to combat the opioid crisis.

  • Has refused to stand up to political corruption in her own party.

 
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A Vote To Decimate Medicaid And Cripple Iowa Hospitals

Amid a pandemic, Election Year Ernst’s campaign is in overdrive trying to obscure a career crusade that could have shut the door on health providers and ended health coverage for over 150,000 Iowans.

 

Election Year Ernst's campaign is now making the baseless claim she has "worked to strengthen Medicaid and help...rural hospitals get any assistance they need" – even though she's repeatedly voted to dismantle Iowa's Medicaid expansion, gut Medicaid funding, and force rural hospitals to the brink.

 

  • Centered her 2014 campaign on her extreme opposition to Medicaid expansion, an irreplaceable lifeline for hospitals and health providers she has voted time and again to cut off. [Des Moines Register, 10/23/13]

  • Voted for the reckless GOP Tax Scam in 2017, despite widespread warnings that it threatened massive cuts to Medicare and Medicaid – programs that Iowa’s rural communities disproportionately turn to for health care. [12/2/2017]

  • Opposed efforts to provide more funding to hospitals in pandemic relief, as experts warn some Iowa hospitals "will not survive the COVID-19 outbreak." [IowaWatch, 6/3/2020]

  • Repeatedly voted for budgets calling for over $430 billion in cuts to Medicare.

 

Standing With Big Oil At the Expense Of Iowa's Farmers

Six years after she flip flopped her lifelong opposition to the Renewable Fuel Standard in the heat of her 2014 election, Election Year Ernst is on the run from her record of putting Big Oil ahead of Iowa farmers and producers. 


Now, Election Year Ernst is taking her hypocrisy to new levels – claiming she's being "vigilant" to defend Iowa's ag economy from the oil industry, while simultaneously giving preferential treatment to Big Oil as they flood her campaign with contributions. Meanwhile, Iowa’s farmers continue to suffer.

Election Year Ernst's

Big Oil Broken Promises

ELECTION YEAR ERNST:

Claims credit for holding Big Oil accountable.

REAL RECORD:

Sits in the pocket of Big Oil – cashing in over $420,000 in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry.

ELECTION YEAR ERNST:

Criticizes EPA Director Andrew Wheeler for refusing to uphold the RFS.

REAL RECORD:

Voted to confirm EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former fossil fuel lobbyist whose agency has handed out 85 small refinery waivers to oil companies, preventing over 4 billion gallons of biofuels from being blended.

ELECTION YEAR ERNST:

Claims to represent the biofuels industry.

REAL RECORD:

Voted for the 2017 GOP Tax Scam, which is "handing Big Oil nearly $15 billion windfall," and pushed for a $3 billion taxpayer bailout to protect Big Oil's bottom line.

Undermining Iowa's Public Education

 

Senator Ernst has spent six years in D.C. working to stack the deck against Iowa students. Now, getting a higher education is more expensive than ever, and underpaid teachers are forced to go into their own pockets to pay for school supplies as Washington leaves our classrooms behind.

 

Now down in the polls, Election Year Ernst has become a textbook example of a desperate incumbent trying to turn the page on her harmful record.

 

But, the history books will show that not only has Ernst advanced a radical effort to privatize schools, but she's voted to make it all the more difficult for Iowans to gain the workforce skills they need. 

 

  • Voted to confirm Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, despite widespread outcry from educators, students, and parents over fears she would  privatize and gut public education - fears that turned out to be founded. [2/7/2017]

  • Repeatedly opposed expanding Pell Grants for Iowa students, including:

    • Voted against restoring $89 billion in Pell Grant funding. [3/26/2015]

    • Opposed a measure supported by two-thirds of the Senate that raised the maximum Pell Grant to $6,095. [3/23/2018]

    • Was one of only 18 senators to vote against restoring year-round Pell Grants. [5/4/2017]

  • Claimed “we can’t help” existing students loan rates, before voting against a measure to allow students to refinance their outstanding debt.

  • Campaigned on “closing the doors” on the Department of Education. [PolitiFact, 6/23/2014]

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