In 2017, President Trump had just taken office, and I was worried about what that would mean for Iowans, for my family, and for Iowa veterans like me. I served in Iraq, and as a fellow veteran, I went to one of Senator Joni Ernst’s town hall meetings to ask if she would stand up to the newly elected President when it came to protecting veterans.
Senator Ernst personally assured me that she would stand up for veterans. But she has broken that promise. Her broken promises have gone too far, and I feel compelled to speak out against her record and in support of all those who have served. Senator Ernst didn’t do what she told me she would do. She did not stand up to the President, or stand up for Iowa veterans. Watch my message to her here, and share it with as many people as you can so that Iowans will know the truth about her record.
Instead of protecting Iowa veterans, Senator Ernst has voted four times to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would take health care away from 8,295 Iowa veterans, according to a report released by Families USA. And she just voted to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, through an incredibly partisan, political process, in large part because she is on record as supporting the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Just one week after the election, the Supreme Court will hear a case that could strike down the entire law, leaving those thousands of Iowa veterans without any coverage.
Senator Ernst knows this, and her vote to confirm Coney Barrett is just the latest in her series of broken promises to protect Iowa veterans. In the summer of 2017 she voted multiple times within one week to repeal the Affordable Care Act, going along with her political party and the President’s wishes, instead of doing what’s right for Iowa and our veterans. Thankfully the ACA repeal failed at the last minute, thanks to the brave votes of a few Senators who did have the courage to think independently, including John McCain.
Sadly, Senator Ernst did not show that same bravery. And while I respect her service and the service of all of my fellow veterans, I just can’t respect Senator Ernst’s votes that would threaten the health care of thousands of Iowa veterans. And I certainly cannot respect that she went back on the promise she made to me.
For me, it comes down to this: Iowa veterans put their lives on the line. We deserve better from Senator Ernst.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore.