“The threats against the United States will only increase.”

Ernst Outlines Effort to Keep Americans Secure in an Increasingly Volatile World

WASHINGTON, DC – In remarks yesterday morning before a breakfast meeting of The Ripon Society, U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) outlined the effort she is spearheading on Capitol Hill to not only rebuild America’s military, but make America more energy secure.

“Without a strong national defense, we simply do not have a nation,” Ernst stated. “As a member of the Armed Services Committee and the Chair of the Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee, I have oversight over our emerging threats and those who are responsible for addressing the threats that our adversaries pose, like our Special Operations Forces.

“Earlier this week, the Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act.  This year’s bipartisan legislation will ensure that our war fighters are prepared to operate across the full spectrum of conflict and support the objectives that have been laid out in the President’s 2018 National Defense Strategy, which is the first new national defense strategy that we have seen in a decade.”

Ernst knows something about defense strategy, having spent over two decades in the Army Reserves. She served as a company commander during the Iraq War, and is the first-ever female combat veteran to earn a seat in the U.S. Senate.  Her experience in the military no doubt gave her a first-hand understanding of the threats our troops face on the battlefield, and why it is important to work together to meet these threats – both abroad and here at home.

“I worked hard with my ranking member, Senator Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, to ensure this year’s NDAA invests additional funding in innovative technologies,” she said.  She added that the goal of their bipartisan effort was to make sure the United States could “maintain technological superiority over near peer adversaries like China, Russia, Iran, particularly in the areas of hypersonics, unmanned systems, directed energy, and artificial intelligence.”

“Nations like Russia and China are investing heavily in these areas,” she continued, “and the United States must be relentless in its goal of maintaining our technological capabilities gap, and in some cases actually regaining it. Additionally, the NDAA provides much needed funding to our Special Operations Forces, who play a key role in combating terrorist networks and countering growing aggression by adversaries like Russia, China, and Iran.”

Ernst said that the investment in America’s Armed Forces was desperately needed and long overdue.

“Between the NDAA and the upcoming appropriations bills,” she declared, “we’re beginning the longer process of rebuilding our military following the devastating policies and sequestration of the Obama administration, and providing the flexibility needed for our military to make targeted investments for the future. The threats against the United States will only increase.”

The Iowa lawmaker then turned her attention to another area that, she said, is critical for U.S. security around the globe – energy.

“A strong nation is more than just a strong military,” she declared.  “It also includes energy resilience. Harnessing an all-of-the-above energy strategy is critical to driving our nation forward in many ways, and renewable fuels are a real American success story, creating jobs and boosting our economy. Congress created the Renewable Fuel Standard, commonly referred to as the RFS, to expand the nation’s renewable fuels sector and reduce our reliance on imported oil.

“The RFS is a law that is vital to the people of Iowa and to rural America. Rural America is the backbone of our country, and the RFS is an invaluable economic engine creating good paying jobs, raising incomes, increasing tax revenues, and offering new investment opportunities. My home state of Iowa leads the nation in renewable fuels production with 43 ethanol refineries capable of producing 4 billion gallons annually and 12 biodiesel facilities producing over 350 million gallons annually.”

“In 2017, the renewable fuels industry created $2.4 billion in household income and supported nearly 50,000 jobs in my home state. Such jobs and investment are critical in rural areas.  It’s what we need to find long-term and sustainable success for struggling communities. The success we see in Iowa represents only a fraction of the economic impact seen across the 28 states with an ethanol facility. Last year, our nation’s ethanol industry supported more than 350,000 American jobs and increased U.S. household income by $24 billion.”

“Over the past several months, I have stressed to President Trump and our Senate colleagues during multiple White House meetings that a strong and robust RFS encourages consumer choice, investment, and innovation, and protects a diverse fuel mix which helps keep our nation more secure.”

To view the remarks of Senator Ernst before The Ripon Society breakfast discussion yesterday morning, please click on the link below:

The Ripon Society is a public policy organization that was founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 – Ripon, Wisconsin. One of the main goals of The Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made America great and contributed to the GOP’s success. These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people.