Sen. Ernst looking for spending cuts before voting to raise the debt ceiling

Ernst criticizes Biden Administration over USDA farm subsidy program
Ernst criticizes Biden Administration over USDA farm subsidy program(Joni Ernst)
Published: May. 5, 2023 at 5:54 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Iowa Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) said she’s looking for spending cuts before voting to raise the debt ceiling on Friday.

Sen. Ernst, who is on her party’s leadership team in the Senate, said she also doesn’t support Congress adding ethical rules to the Supreme Court and floated the idea of instituting a work requirement for people to earn Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

Economic experts warn the U-S defaulting could create catastrophic effects on the economy. Democrats didn’t raise the debt ceiling when it had full control in Washington. But, now Republicans control the House.

Sen. Ernst said this gives Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy the power to negotiate and she supports his efforts to cut spending.

”It may not look like it looks like today, the package that passed the House,” she said. “But, we certainly need to know that we are going to focus on our spending across the board and we will be able to raise the debt ceiling.”

Democrats said the GOP’s plan to raise the debt ceiling is not one it can support because it cuts veteran’s health care, education, Meals on Wheels and other programs within the federal government. Democrats said they want the GOP to approve an increase to the debt ceiling with no strings attached.

Sen. Ernst said she doesn’t support Congress creating ethical reforms. She thinks the justices can handle ethical issues themselves and two separate branches of government shouldn’t interfere with each other.

“In Congress, I wouldn’t want the supreme court to step in and say ‘You congressman need to do this,’” Sen. Ernst said. “We have our own ethics rules that we adhere to...We need to see the same sort of rules implemented at the Supreme Court.”

Some GOP Senators, like Sen. Chuck Grassley, advocated for the court to provide more transparency and better-defined ethical standards at a Senate hearing earlier this week. Sen Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) introduced a bill requiring the Supreme Court to adopt a code of conduct.

Democrats have pushed for legislation after stories about different ethical situations involving multiple supreme court justices, but most notably Justice Clarence Thomas.