WASHINGTON, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa touted changes expected to be made by the newly elected Republican majority in Congress in her response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday.
The freshman senator drew on her personal past to emphasize the importance of working hard and succeeding even if one doesn't come from a wealthy background.
"As a young girl, I plowed the fields of our family farm. I worked construction with my dad," she said. "We were raised to live simply, not to waste."
"Our parents may not have had much, but they worked hard for what they did have."
She says these days she sees Americans "working harder and harder, with less and less to show for it."
"We see our neighbors agonize over stagnant wages and lost jobs. We see the hurt caused by canceled healthcare plans and higher monthly insurance bills. 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 to their children," Ernst said. "Americans have been hurting, but when we demanded solutions, too often Washington responded with the same stale mindset that led to failed policies like Obamacare. It's a mindset that gave us political talking points, not serious solutions.
"That's why the new Republican majority you 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," she said.
Ernst encourage the bipartisan passage of the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline bill. She also called for simplifying the country's tax code and boosting trade in Europe and the Pacific.
"The president has already expressed some support for these kinds of ideas," she said. "We're calling on him now to cooperate to pass them."
"You'll see a lot of serious work in this new Congress."