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Sunday Talk: Joni Ernst On 99 County Tour, Supply Chain and Inflation Crises Front and Center

Last week, I continued on my 8th annual 99 County tour. Also known as the “Full Grassley,” this tour is the gold standard for representative government and allows our state’s elected officials—many of whom follow our senior senator’s tradition—the opportunity to hear from our constituents and better represent their needs.

After visiting 16 counties so far this year, including 13 just last week, Iowans have made it abundantly clear inflation is out of control, the supply chain is broken, and Washington must do better.

In Jones County, I toured a furniture manufacturer, where one of their employees told me that due to shipping delays and higher costs, shelves in their warehouse that would usually be full now lay empty. In Henry County, a broken supply chain has delayed the opening of a brewery business. In Mahaska County, I joined a roundtable with local business leaders to hear about the negative effects of record high inflation on their growth and the ability to maintain payroll, particularly in rural areas. I heard more of the same from employers in Scott County.

Democrats, including President Biden, claim that Republicans don’t have answers to the challenges our nation faces, but the reality is we do.

Congress needs to rein in the record level of federal spending. Our national debt hit $30 trillion this week, and the Biden administration shows no signs of slowing down their radical spending agenda. Republicans have been clear that we oppose raising taxes and burdening our families and small businesses. When Republicans brought to light the substance of the Democrats’ so-called “Build Back Better” plan, the American people were appalled. Transparency is always paramount, especially in Washington.

That’s why next week, I will be introducing the Providing Reports on Inflation Costs and Economic Impact (PRICE) ActThis commonsense bill will require all proposed spending by the federal government to include a report by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) detailing the impact on prices and paychecks. If Congress is forced to understand the effects of their massive spending bills on hardworking Americans, they might think twice before passing additional pork-filled packages.

I’m also continuing my calls for U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the co-chair of the White House’s Supply Chain Disruption Task Force, to testify in front of the Senate Agriculture Committee. The supply chain crisis is impacting everyone from our grocery stores to small businesses to everyday Iowans—and it’s past time the administration acts.

I’ll be back on my 99 County Tour this weekend, and I have no doubt I will hear more of the same from our local businesses and families on inflation and supply chains. I’m willing to work with anyone and everyone to address these two issues and to rein in the federal spending, but I need my Democratic friends to first acknowledge the problems and then help us solve them. Iowans deserve better—and I’ll keep fighting to protect their hard-earned money and their way of life.

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