Iowa state Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstSenate GOP urges Trump administration to work closely with Congress on NAFTA Overnight Defense: Trump aide's comment mocking McCain sparks outrage | Haspel gets another 'no' vote | Pompeo floats North Korea aid for denuclearization Overnight Energy: Poll finds majority oppose Trump offshore drilling plan | Senators say Trump endorsed ethanol deal | Automaker group wants to keep increasing efficiency standards MORE (R) on Saturday said the Republican Party must be able to provide alternative solutions to the country’s problems. 

“I wake up at night worried that the failed policies coming out of Washington pose a grave threat to our ability to pass along the same great nation we once inherited to our children – like my teenage daughter – and future generations to come,” Ernst said in the Republican weekly address. 

“But as Republicans, it’s not enough to simply say ‘no.’ We need to provide solution and be able to explain what we would do differently,” she said.

Ernst is running against Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) for the Hawkeye state’s open Senate seat. Her selection to give the weekly response to President Obama boosts the Iowa Republican's bid as the GOP looks to retake the Senate in November. 

Ernst used the first portion of the address to tell part of her life story, including growing up on a farm in a small town and her rank as a Lt. Colonel and battalion commander in the Iowa Army National Guard.

“The problem in America today is that Washington is full of liberal who think government is the solution to every problem,” she argued. “They think that nothing can be solved unless Washington is involved.

Ernst then rattled off a litany of conservative goals, including a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, an energy policy that “safely and responsibly” taps U.S. domestic resources and preserving Social Security.

She also offered a rebuke of ObamaCare, saying the president’s signature law is “not improving healthcare in America,” and called for strengthening local schools.

Ernst said “American knows what’s best for their communities more than Washington bureaucrats” and cited the “heartbreaking” patient wait time scandals wracking the Veterans Affairs Department as an example of where Washington has failed.

 “It’s an American problem that must be solved,” according to Ernst, whose husband is a retired U.S. Army ranger.

She said it would take “each of us working together to advance real solutions to our problems – not more tired rhetoric."