State of the Union 2015: Sen. Joni Ernst Delivers Republican Response

Iowa senator says the new Republican-controlled Congress is working hard to make it function again.
9:30 | 01/21/15

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Transcript for State of the Union 2015: Sen. Joni Ernst Delivers Republican Response
It evening. I'm Gemini Ernst. As a mother at soldier. And a newly elected senator from the great state of Iowa. I am proud to speak with you tonight. A few moments ago we heard the president lay out his vision for the year to come. Even if we may not always that Corey. It's important to hear different points of view in this great country we appreciate the president sharing he has. Tonight though rather than respond to a speech. I'd like to talk about your priorities. I'd like to have a conversation about the new Republican congress you just elected. And how we plan to make Washington focus on you'll or concerns again. We heard the message you sent in November. Loud and clear. And now we're getting to work to change that direction Washington has been taking our country. Then new Republican congress also understands how difficult. These past six years have ban. For many of us the sting of the economy. And the frustration with Washington's Washington's dysfunction. Weren't things we had to read it now. We felt them every day. We felt then in rat out a little town in southwestern Iowa where I grew up and still proud to call home today. As a young girl I plowed the fields of our family farm I worked construction with my dad. To save for college I worked the morning biscuit line at hardee's. We were raised to Lance simply. Not to waste. It was a lesson my mother taught me every rainy morning. You see growing up I had only one good pair issues. So on rainy school days my mom had slit plastic bread bags over them to keep them dry. That I was never embarrassed. Because the school bus would be filled. With rows and rows of young I am when's Whitbread bags slept over at their feet. Our parents may not have had much that they worked hard for what they did it. These days though many families feel like they're working harder and harder with less and less to show for it. Not just in red and across the country. We see our neighbors agonize over stagnant wages and lost jobs. We see the hurt caused by canceled health care plans and higher monthly insurance sales. We see too many moms and dads put their own dreams on hold. While growing more fearful about the kind of future they'll be able to leave Tenet they are children. Americans have been hurting. But when we demanded solutions too often. Washington responded. With the same stale mindset. That led to failed policies like Obama care. It's a mindset that gave us political talking points. Not serious solutions. That's why the new Republican majority view elected. Started by reforming congress to make it function again. And now we're working hard to pass the kind of serious. Job creation ideas you deserve. One you've probably heard about is the keystone jobs now. President Obama has been delaying this bipartisan. Infrastructure project for years. Even though many members of his party unions and a strong majority of Americans support it. The president's own State Department has said he stones construction. Could support. Thousands of jobs and pump billions into our economy. And do it with minimal environmental impact. We worked with Democrats to pass this bill through the house we're doing the same now and sent. President Obama will soon have a decision to me will lease signed the bill. Or block good American jobs. There's a lot we can achieve if we work together. Let's tear down trade barriers in places like Europe and the Pacific. Let sell more of what we may and grow in America come over at bear. So we can boost manufacturing. Wages and jobs right here at home. Let simplifying America's outdated and loophole ridden tax code. Republicans think tax filing should be easier for you not just the well connected. So let's iron out loopholes to lower rates. And create jobs. Not paid for more government spending. The president has already expressed some support for these kinds of I DNS. We're calling on him now to cooperate to pass them. You'll see a lot of serious work in this new congress. Some of that will occur where I stand tonight. In the armed services committee room. This is where all joint committee colleagues. Republicans. And Democrats. To discuss ways to support our exceptional military. And its mission. This is where wheels debate strategies. To confront terrorism. And the threats posed by al-Qaeda. Beisel and those radicalized by them. We know threats like these can't just be wished away. We've been reminded. Of terrorism some reach both at home and abroad. Most recently. In France and Nigeria. But also went places like Canada and Australia. Our hearts go out to all the innocent victims of terrorism. And their loved ones. We can only imagine the depth at their grief. For two decades I've proudly Warner nation's uniform. Today as a lieutenant colonel in the Iowa army National Guard. While deployed overseas with some of America's finest men and women I've seen it's just how dangerous these kinds of threats can be. The forces of violence and oppression don't care about the innocent. We need a comprehensive. Plan to defeat them. We must also honor America's veterans. These men and women have sacrificed. So much in defense of our freedoms and our way of life. They deserve nothing less than the benefits they were promised and that quality of care we can all be proud. These are important issues the new congress plans to address. We'll also keep fighting to repeal and replace. A health care law that's hurt so many hardworking families. Will work to correct executive over reach. Will propose ideas that came to cut wasteful spending and balance that budget. With meaningful reforms. Not higher taxes. Like the president has proposed. Will advance solutions to prevent the kind of cyber attacks we've seen recently. Will work to confront I rants nuclear ambitions. And will defend life because protecting our most vulnerable. Is an important measure. And he society. Congress is back to work on your behalf ready to make Washington focused on your concerns again. We know what America faces big challenges. But history has shown there's nothing our nation. And our people can't accomplish. Just look at my parents and grandparents. They had very little to call their own except the sweat on their brow and the dirt on their hands. But they worked. They sacrificed. And they dream to big dreams for their children and grandchildren. And be 'cause they did. An ordinary high wind like me has had some truly extraordinary opportunities. Because they showed me that you don't need to come from well or privileged to make a difference. You just need that freedom to dream bay and a whole lot of hard work. The new Republican congress you elected is working to make Washington understand that too. And with a little cooperation from the president. We can get Washington working again. Thank you for allowing me to speak with you tonight. May god bless this great country of ours that brave Americans serving in uniform on our behalf. And you. The hard working men and women who make the United States of America that greatest nation the world has ever known.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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