Ernst, Joined by Grassley, Reynolds Hears Directly From Iowans on Another Telephone Town Hall

The Iowa senator discussed her efforts to support Iowa’s families and small businesses as the state works to safely reopen its economy

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), joined by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, hosted another telephone town hall to hear directly from folks across the state. During the town hall, Ernst discussed her efforts to support Iowa’s families and small businesses as the state works to safely reopen its economy, and the Iowa leaders answered questions on a wide range of topics.

“There’s no doubt about it, COVID-19 has impacted everyone across our state. And that’s why we’ve taken an all-hands-on deck approach to providing support for Iowans. With Senator Grassley, I’ve worked hard at the federal level to get folks the relief they need, and Governor Reynolds has continued to be the strong, steady leader our state needs,” said Senator Ernst. “Tonight’s telephone town hall was another great opportunity to share the work we’re doing, answer folks’ questions, and ensure Iowans have access to the resources they need. Whether it’s supporting our child care providers and working families, providing more flexibility for our small businesses using the Paycheck Protection Program, or providing tax relief to our essential workers, I’ll continue fighting for Iowans, and together, we’ll beat this virus.”

“Senator Ernst and I are committed to keeping our pledge to meet with Iowans face-to-face in all 99 of Iowa’s counties this year, despite the challenges presented by coronavirus. Still, it’s important for us to meet with Iowans in other ways too until larger gatherings are safe again. Remaining accessible and accountable to Iowans by answering their questions about our work is a hallmark of our service on behalf of Iowans. The incredible hurdles we face as a country and the hard work ahead make continuing this practice all the more important,” said Senator Grassley.

“I am so proud of the collaboration and cooperation we have seen throughout the state in response to COVID-19 and the support we are getting from Senator Ernst,” said Governor Kim Reynolds.

Background:

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

Ernst is also working on bipartisan legislation that would allow parents with a newborn child to claim an additional $500 in direct financial assistance provided through the CARES Act right away instead of waiting until they receive their tax return next year.

After hearing from Iowa businesses and lenders that the Paycheck Protection Program’s forgiveness application was far too complicated for smaller applicants, Ernst pressed Secretary Mnuchin on this during a Small Business Committee hearing, and joined a number of her colleagues in sending a letter asking the Treasury Department and Small Business Administration (SBA) to streamline the application. Following Ernst’s push, the Treasury Department and SBA posted a new, user-friendly application.

In addition, Ernst has put forward a proposal to reward essential workers on the front lines of COVID-19. Read more about her proposal here and here.

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