Sen. Joni Ernst was recently on the Senate floor passionately speaking about her desire to pass Sarah’s Law. And, in a tweet, she wrote, “Sarah’s Law is about as common-sense a reform as there is. It recognizes the simple fact that all criminals should be held accountable for their actions, and not simply allowed to slip back into the shadows.” Sadly, Ernst’s words are just another example of her partisan political games.
Women across the United States and in Iowa have been waiting 539 days and counting for the Violence Against Women Act to be reinstated. This legislation expired on Feb. 15, 2019, and Ernst single-handedly held up the bill to appease the NRA, which spent $3,000,000 to support her. A bipartisan bill passed the House and was supported in the Senate. The sticking point for Ernst (and the NRA) in VAWA was the boyfriend loophole, which allows unmarried intimate partners accused of domestic violence and stalkers to own a gun. She refuses to close this loophole.
If Ernst truly believes as she stated on twitter that criminals should be held accountable for their actions, then she should have no problem reinstating VAWA and closing the boyfriend loophole. If not, then her words ring hollow and are used to stir xenophobia and fear of immigrants in our state.