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Joni Ernst's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)



Official Position: Candidate addressed this issue directly by taking the Political Courage Test.

Inferred Position: Candidate refused to address this issue, but Vote Smart inferred this issue based on the candidate's public record, including statements, voting record, and special interest group endorsements.

Unknown Position: Candidate refused to address this issue, or we could not infer an answer for this candidate despite exhaustive research of their public record.

Additional Information: Click on this icon to reveal more information about this candidate's position, from their answers or Vote Smart's research.

Other or Expanded Principles & Legislative Priorities are entered exactly as candidates submit them. Vote Smart does not edit for misspelled words, punctuation or grammar.

Joni Ernst has failed to provide voters with positions on key issues covered by the 2020 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests from Vote Smart and voters like you.

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Issue Positions

For Presidential and Congressional candidates who refuse to provide voters with their positions, Vote Smart has researched their public records to determine their likely responses. These issue positions are from 2020.

  • "In fulfillment of that commitment, I have supported a number of measures to protect the sanctity of life at every stage of development, safeguard women's health, and shine a light on the realities of abortion." (
  • Rated 0% by Planned Parenthood. (
  • Voted in favor of S Amdt 3967 - Senator Rand Paul's Amendment to H.R. 6157. (
  • Voted in favor of HR 1 - Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. (
  • Rated 92% by National Tax Limitation Committee. (
  • "This is a monumental moment for our country; this tax reform, on average, will provide every income group with tax relief. Under this law, middle- and low-income Iowans will see lower tax rates" (
  • "We must preserve and protect Social Security for the more than 600,000 Iowans who are counting on this program. We owe it to seniors and those with disabilities to have a serious conversation about the future of this important program. The fact remains that more seniors are owed benefits than there are workers to pay in, and this trend is expected to continue. Doing nothing will only worsen the program over the long haul, and it's why I will work to ensure that we can protect Social Security for current and future seniors." (
  • "The fact remains that more seniors are owed benefits than there are workers to pay in, and this trend is expected to continue. Doing nothing will only worsen the program over the long haul, and it's why I will work to ensure that we can protect Social Security for current and future seniors." (
  • "We need a solution, not Bruce Braley's typical Washington "do nothing' approach that only guarantees the system will go broke. Bruce Braley, what's your plan to secure Social Security for future generations of Iowans?" (
  • Despite exhaustive research, Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
  • Despite exhaustive research, Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
  • "If we send our men and women into harm's way to protect and defend our national security, we absolutely must provide the proper tools and support they need and deserve. We must remain united in our efforts to support our armed forces and their servicemembers; this is an integral step towards that goal." (
  • "Congress has done its duty and provided the necessary tools to our servicemembers who sacrifice daily to protect our country and maintain our freedoms. This bipartisan NDAA sustains and strengthens our national security against global threats, and I am pleased to see a number of my priorities included in this year's bill. I applaud my colleagues for their diligence in passing this necessary and bipartisan legislation, and urge the President to swiftly sign this bill into law," (
  • Rated 87% by Center for Security Policy. (
  • "The federal government has a significant role to play in developing and maintaining our country's infrastructure, and along with national defense, it is one of its core functions. Having a robust and efficient transportation infrastructure is vital to the economy." (
  • "I support transportation legislation that ensures Iowans are empowered to make decisions over where funding is needed most and which safeguards the flexibility of our states to determine how infrastructure dollars are best spent. That is why I voted for a bipartisan, long-term highway bill in 2015 that provides the kind of investment and consensus solutions for our state and local communities to move forward and implement transportation projects that enhance our nation's roadways." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 22 - Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. (
  • Voted in favor of HR 1 - Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. (
  • Rated 92% by National Tax Limitation Committee. (
  • "We need real, proven solutions,such as tax cuts,that put more money directly back into the hands of our families & lead to more jobs." (
  • "This is a time for action. This is a time for Congress to step up, put aside our partisan wants, and show up for the people of our states. Let's deliver additional relief to the men, women, and children of our great nation. Let's pass this Phase 3 relief package today." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 748 - Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. (
  • Rated 0% by National Education Association. (
  • "I supported the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) which rolls back many of the failed policies established under No Child Left Behind. This legislation ends the Common Core mandate and other federally prescribed academic standards imposed on our states. In addition, ESSA moves our education system away from a Washington top down, one size fits all system based on test results." (
  • "As a mother and grandmother, I believe education should be handled at the state and local level, by Iowans, not Washington bureaucrats." (
  • "Iowa taxpayers shouldn't be footing the bill for millionaires to get a discount on luxury cars. That's why I've been working hard to get the EV tax credit off the books," said Senator Ernst. "With its history of systemic problems and fraud, this program needs to be scrutinized, which is why I've urged the IRS to take a closer look at its issues. I'm building on that effort by joining these two additional measures that will eliminate this incentive for wealthy coastal elites." (
  • "I support an all-of-the-above energy approach that increases America's domestic production and promotes energy independence. Using our plentiful fossil fuel reserves, increasing utilization of renewables and building on advances in energy efficiency, we have the ability to pursue an energy strategy that creates jobs and provides reliable, sustainable and affordable energy to American families and businesses." (
  • Rated 100% by American Energy Alliance. (
  • "Once again, the EPA has bypassed Congress and ignored the voices of hardworking Americans to unilaterally enforce its agenda. This latest overreach is a backdoor cap-and-trade policy that is likely to threaten jobs, burden hardworking Americans and increase electricity prices for low-income families. Energy policies like this one are central to the economic health of our country and should not be forced through a rulemaking process that is specifically designed to ignore the will of Congress and the American people. These issues should be debated openly in Congress as well as in every congressional district and community across America. I remain committed to ensuring that hardworking folks across the country are protected from this harmful rule." (
  • "And I don't -- I think any -- any time that we are putting regulation out, we need to always consider impact to American industry and jobs.We want to make sure that it makes sense going forward. There is a balance that can -- can be struck there. And, again, in Iowa, as a state, we have set that standard. And it hasn't been by mandating. It has been by incentivizing." (
  • "Many of the decisions made by EPA at the federal level would be better addressed by state officials, because these individuals have the best understanding of their states' unique environmental and energy challenges." (
  • Endorsed by National Rifle Association. (
  • "In accordance with the Second Amendment, I feel strongly that law-abiding citizens should be able to exercise their fundamental right to self-defense. As a United States Senator, I supported a bill that would allow law-abiding citizens with concealed carry privileges in their home state to conceal carry in any other state that also allows concealed carry." (
  • Voted in favor of S Amdt 667 - Health Care Freedom Act of 2017. (
  • "Folks have been demanding relief from ObamaCare, and made that clear when they sent me to Washington in 2014, and they reiterated that call in 2016. It's time to act." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 6201 - Families First Coronavirus Response Act. (
  • Rated 100% by Federation for American Immigration Reform. (
  • "We have a lot of departments that do a lot of good for our citizens, so we need to make sure we're funding them properly for Congress, but also realizing the goal of the president, and that is to fund the border wall." (
  • "America has been, and always will be, a nation of immigrants. However, we are also a nation of laws and it is essential that we enforce those laws, which is why I supported efforts to block overreaching executive amnesty. Additionally, I supported efforts to address the issue of "sanctuary cities" to make sure that local law enforcement cooperates with federal immigration authorities when they discover people in our country illegally." (
  • Rated 100% by Federation for American Immigration Reform. (
  • "Two years ago, I warned that the JCPOA fell dangerously short of its intended goal to dismantle Iran's nuclear program. Today, it is clear that the flawed agreement negotiated by then-President Obama has indeed paved the way for Iran to obtain and deliver a nuclear weapon without repercussion." (
  • "One year ago, the Obama administration bypassed Congress and brokered a dangerous and ill-advised deal with Iran over their nuclear program. Today, as senators-elect and members of the new majority party, we respectfully urge President Obama to ensure any long-term deal with Iran effectively eliminates their nuclear program and all future nuclear capabilities. At a minimum, Iran must allow for the comprehensive inspection of suspected nuclear development sites and comply with the United Nations' previously enacted limitations on their nuclear program." (
  • Rated 87% by Center for Security Policy. (
  • "We will maintain a position of global leadership by upholding our obligations, while finally beginning to hold Iran accountable for not meeting the expectations of the international community. This starts today with the President's decision not to certify the deal, and his decision to target the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps for proliferating weapons, abusing human rights, and sponsoring terror." (
  • "In our fast-moving and quickly changing world, it is easy for some to forget the terrible threat ISIS once posed while they were at their most powerful, but it would be wrong to think we can now allow ourselves to take our foot off of our enemy's throat." (
  • Rated 87% by Center for Security Policy. (
  • "So it is critical--it is critical--that we get the USMCA across the finish line, not just for the sake of getting a tremendous win for our agriculture community but finalizing a deal that will impact the livelihoods of our hard-working Iowans and all Americans across the country." (
  • Rated 0% by Public Citizen. (
  • "No new tariffs on goods plus additional purchases of agricultural products, like Iowa soybeans and pork, is a good sign. I look forward to learning more details about this phase of the deal. I'll continue fighting on behalf of Iowans to ensure we're getting a good, fair deal for folks in our state and across the country." (

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