RED OAK, Iowa – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) continues to listen to and hear directly from Iowans, including the Mills County leaders she spoke with via phone today. During the call, Ernst and local leaders discussed a number of topics, including COVID-19 relief, flood mitigation and recovery efforts, and rural broadband.

“I’m continuing to connect with Iowans across the state, and today I had the chance to speak directly with local leaders in Mills County about a range of topics related to COVID-19 and other issues facing the community,” said Senator Ernst. “We discussed recent progress on critical levee projects as well as the need to expand dependable broadband to our rural areas, a longtime priority of mine. While each community is facing challenges amid this health crisis, we will get through this — together.”

Recently, Senator Ernst welcomed the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) announced support for the M&P Missouri River Levee District of Glenwood, Iowa, to help folks in Mills County protect against future flood events.

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:

  • Welcomed the president’s action to protect workers, support the supply chain, and help pork producers.
  • Joined other Iowa leaders in urging “immediate assistance” from the administration to support Iowa’s pork industry.
  • Applauded the signing of the Phase 3.5 package into law.
  • Pushed for support for Iowa’s local newspapers, TV and radio stations.
  • 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 last 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 individualssmall businessesand seniors.