Iowa Senator Joni Ernst in Red Oak

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst addresses the crowd at an appearance at the Montgomery County Family YMCA in January, 2018.

(Red Oak) -- Iowa Senator Joni Ernst next week kicks off another sweep of the state from it where her political career started--Montgomery County.

Ernst's annual 99-county tour of Iowa begins with a town hall meeting in Red Oak Monday at 5 p.m. at the Red Oak National Guard Armory at 2001 G Avenue. Due to the continuing partial government shutdown, the Red Oak Republican would return to Washington if a vote in the U.S. Senate was necessary. In a recent conference call with reporters, Ernst stated she believes Congress should stay in session during the shutdown, and recalled her previous legislation designed to keep congressional representatives in Washington if a federal budget or important appropriations to keep the government operating aren't approved in a timely manner.

"This is not new for me," she said. "This is something I feel very strongly about. And, because we did cancel our August recess last year, at a time when we would have left for that August break, we only had about 12% of the government funded at that time. And, because I pushed for actions, and members of my class pushed for further action during August, we ended up staying in Washington, D.C. By the time we got done with August, a little over 75% of our government was funded."

The senator's town hall meeting is open to the public.