Fox News on January 20, 2015, reported that Sen. Joni Ernst hammered home the idea of a new Republican Congress ready to champion the middle class in America as well as go after terrorists abroad in the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address. Excerpts below:

In contrast to Obama’s optimistic tone on the economy, Ernst spoke of the struggle that still exists.
“Americans have been hurting,” she said, and cited concerns over stagnant wages, lost jobs and higher monthly insurance bills.

The freshman senator from Iowa, with less than a month of experience, in Washington, told Americans during her 9-minute rebuttal that the GOP is “working hard to pass the kind of serious job-creation ideas you deserve” that she said includes building the controversial Keystone pipeline.

Ernst also said Republicans will prioritize American concerns and called on Obama to work with her party to simplify the tax code by lowering rates and eliminating unspecified loopholes. She also called on him to ease trade barriers with Europe and Asia.

Ernst also cited the recent terror attacks in France, Nigeria, Canada and Australia in her rebuttal and said lawmakers need to come up with a “comprehensive plan” to defeat terror groups like Al Qaeda and the Islamic State as well as those radicalized by them.

“We know threats like these can’t just be wished away,” she said.

Ernst, a former colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard, won one of the toughest election challenges last year, beating Democrat Bruce Braley. She is the first woman elected to the office from Iowa and the first combat veteran to serve in the Senate.

Rep. Curt Clawson, R-Fla., delivered the official Tea Party response to Obama’s State of the Union speech from the National Press Club in D.C.

Clawson, who won a special election seven months ago by marketing himself as “the outsider for Congress,” drew on his strong conservative grassroots base during his response. He stressed that people were key to achieving the American dream, not the government.

Florida freshman Rep. Carlos Curbelo delivered the Republicans’ Spanish-language response.


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