U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), who has been calling on Congress to be part of the solution and work together on police reform, took part in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday focused on law enforcement reform and the community response.
Ernst, one of the first female Republicans to sit on the committee, outlined how her home state of Iowa is leading the way on the issue of police reform, unanimously passing and signing into law a historic bipartisan bill that would provide additional accountability for law enforcement and garnered the support of the Iowa Police Officers Association.
Ernst also addressed the calls to defund the police, saying in part, “There is a lot of talk about defunding the police, and I know that’s a quick and provocative soundbite, but there are other ways we can go about reforming our police. I do believe that we can add additional support for our police, whether it’s the form of mental health counselors, those that specialize in de-escalation.”
The Iowa senator also highlighted her work, with Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), to close the law enforcement consent loophole and to reduce sexual abuse of females in law enforcement custody – something Ernst worked to include in the larger police reform package.
To watch her full comments and questioning, click here.