Summary

Joni Ernst was born in 1970 and is currently serving as the junior United States Senator from Iowa. Senator Ernst’s seat is up for election in 2020.

In November 2014, Joni Ernst was elected as the first woman to serve in federal elected office from the State of Iowa and also became the first female combat veteran elected to serve in the U.S. Senate. Ernst joined the Army Reserves and she served as a company commander during the Iraq War. She retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2015, after 23 years of military service. She served on the Iowa State Senate from 2011 until 2014, before being elected to the U.S. Senate. In November 2018, Senator Ernst was elected Vice-Chair of the Senate Republican Conference.

Senator Ernst is currently serving on the Armed Services Committee; the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee; the Environment and Public Works Committee; the Judiciary Committee; and the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

Below is Senator Ernst’s voting record and public positions on issues important to the Jewish Community 

Senator Ernst opposed the Iran nuclear deal. She cosponsored legislation objecting the UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which claimed that Israel’s settlements have no legal validity. She cosponsored the Israel Anti-Boycott Act and the Combating BDS Act of 2017, two bills that aimed to fight discriminatory boycotts that target Israel.

Senator Ernst cosponsored the United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act, a legislation that supported full funding of security assistance to Israel as outlined in the 2016 U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding.

In 2019, Senator Ernst voted for the Strengthening America’s Middle East Security Act which, among other things, strengthened Israel’s security and allowed a state or local government to adopt measures to divest its assets from entities that boycott Israel.

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SOURCES

Opposed the Iran nuclear deal https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2015/07/30/exp-joni-ernst-iran-deal.cnn

Voted For the Strengthening America’s Middle East Security Act of 2019 https://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=116&session=1&vote=00016

Cosponsored the Israel Anti-Boycott Act https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/720/cosponsors

Opposed UN Security Council Resolution 2334 and supported the two-state solution https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-resolution/6/cosponsors

Supported the move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem https://www.ernst.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2017/12/ernst-statement-on-decision-to-recognize-jerusalem-as-israel-s-capital

Cosponsored the Combating BDS Act of 2017 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/170/cosponsors

Cosponsored the United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/2497/cosponsors

Cosponsored Senate Resolution 120 that opposes the global BDS movement https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-resolution/120