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Ernst Hosts Another Telephone Town Hall with Iowans

The Iowa senator answered questions from Iowans and was joined by the Director of the Iowa Department of Human Services, Kelly Garcia.

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) hosted another telephone town hall this evening to answer questions directly from Iowans and discuss her latest COVID-19 relief efforts, including her work for Iowa’s families. Ernst was joined by Director of the Iowa Department of Human Services, Kelly Garcia.

“Throughout this pandemic, I’ve continued to listen to and hear from Iowans in all corners of our state,” said Senator Ernst. “This evening was another opportunity to connect with folks and discuss the work we’re doing for our families during COVID-19, like supporting our child care providers and fighting for additional diaper assistance. Thank you to Director Garcia for joining tonight’s tele-town hall and helping answer direct questions from Iowans.”

“I appreciate our child care providers staying open to provide quality, safe care to Iowa’s children during this critical time. While not often included with first responders, the service they provide is critical. I am grateful to them for their public service,” said Director Garcia.


Since the onset of this pandemic, Senator Ernst has pushed to help Iowa families in several ways. She helped secure nearly $32 million for Iowa’s child care workers and providers through the CCDBG program, and has since called on the Senate to provide additional support in future COVID-19 relief legislation.

Ernst recently joined a virtual town hall with child care providers in northeast Iowa and discussed their concerns surrounding the uncertainty of the upcoming school year. The senator unveiled a new proposal – called the Back to Work Child Care Grants Act of 2020 – to provide assistance for child care providers in Iowa, and across the country, so they can continue to offer critical, affordable services for working moms and dads during COVID-19.

As a member of the Senate Small Business Committee, Ernst fought to ensure that Iowa’s child care providers could access the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The senator is working to allow Iowa’s hardest hit businesses to receive a second PPP loan and to secure access for those who have not yet been able to access relief.

During COVID-19, with the increased demand for diapers, but decreased supply at diaper banks often due to stockpiling, Ernst has been fighting to ensure workers and families have access to diapers. She teamed up with Chris Murphy (D-CT) to urge the Senate to include at least $200 million in funding for diaper assistance through the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) in a future COVID-19 relief package.