RED OAK, Iowa – Following the Senate’s unanimous passage earlier this week of additional COVID-19 relief legislation replenishing the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and providing more support for health care providers and for testing, this afternoon U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) held another telephone town hall—her seventh in the last few weeks. The Senator was joined by Dr. Brooks Jackson from the University of Iowa and Marcie Strouse from the Iowa Association of Health Underwriters.
“While Iowans from every part of our state face challenging times, we’re all working together to help one another get through this pandemic. Today’s telephone town hall gave me the opportunity to continue listening to Iowans and answer their questions amid this health crisis,” said Senator Joni Ernst. “My office and I are always here to help provide our families, small businesses, seniors, farmers and anyone else with assistance and resources – especially during these tough times. Together, we will get through this. Stay safe, and stay strong.”
Background on Ernst’s efforts to combat COVID-19:
Senator Ernst has fought to deliver relief to all Iowans during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some of her efforts:
- Called on the Small Business Administration to ensue Iowa’s farmers are able to access Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), which was included in the relief package that passed earlier this week.
- Working to allow rural electric cooperatives to benefit from the PPP.
- Urged the administration to ensure the safety and security of the food supply chain.
- Secured nearly $32 million for Iowa’s child care providers.
- Applauded the DOJ in providing important guidance to seniors to combat scammers after calling for a crackdown on fraud.
- Urged the federal government to immediately assist rural hospitals and clinics by prioritizing funding for these critical health care providers.
- Called on the Senate to provide public hospitals with additional support through the PPP.
- Urged her colleagues to stop playing politics and provide additional support for workers and employers.
- Called for bolstering the small business emergency loan program, the Paycheck Protection Program.
- Delivered major wins for Iowa’s workers, employers, health care industry, and more in the bipartisan Phase 3 package.
- Supported the “Phase 1” bipartisan package to provide additional resources to federal, state and local authorities.
- Helped pass the “Phase 2” bill to provide paid sick leave, free COVID-19 diagnostic testing, and increased support for nutrition for seniors and children.
- Urged the Senate to prioritize relief for hospitals, community health centers, and workers on the front lines.
- Sought additional relief for Iowa’s public hospitals, including rural, county hospitals.
- Announced a proposal to immediately redirect the over $350M in the Presidential Campaign Election Fund to be used to purchase specialized face masks and personal protective equipment.
- Called for additional relief for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence during COVID-19.
- Pushed the IRS to ensure survivors of domestic violence get their direct payments regardless of their place of residence.
- Asked the State Department to immediately act to get Iowans stranded abroad back home.
- Sought tariff relief for Iowa’s businesses by calling on Treasury to defer all tariffs during the pandemic.
- Pressed SBA to clarify questions from Iowa farmers about access to small business relief during COVID-19.
- Urged USDA to provide additional funding for Iowa’s biofuels industry negatively impacted by COVID-19 as well as the state’s livestock industry.
- Took questions from Iowans in Dubuque and Siouxland areas on COVID-19 relief.
- Answered questions from Iowans in Quad Cities area on COVID-19 relief.
- Continued to listen to and answer questions from small businesses across the state.
- Called on two federal health agencies to protect Iowa’s Medicare beneficiaries from high-risk settings and ensure safe access to care as we continue to work to combat COVID-19.
- Held a telephone town hall with thousands of Iowans to help answer some questions and hear directly from folks.
- Hosted another telephone town hall with Iowa’s seniors and elderly community.
- Heard from hundreds of Iowa’s small businesses on her telephone town hall.
- Held a fourth telephone town hall with Iowans, specifically seniors across the state.
- Participated in discussions at the State Emergency Operations Center with Governor Kim Reynolds.
- Joined Governor Reynolds at her press conference to give an update on federal relief efforts.
- Discussed the need to work together – at federal, state, and local level – to tackle COVID-19.
- Published a column on everyone doing their part to protect seniors and fellow Iowans from COVID-19.
- Penned a column outlining the federal relief packages Congress passed and reminding Iowans we will get through this, together.
- Wrote a column discussing the relief efforts specifically for seniors and her work to protect Iowa’s elderly population from scammers during COVID-19.
- Called for an ‘all hands on deck’ approach to tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.
For additional information for Iowans on COVID-19, you can visit Senator Ernst’s website, which includes resources for families and individuals, small businesses, and seniors.