WASHINGTON – Following her vote in favor of the bipartisan relief package for Iowa families and workers, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) issued the following statement:

“It’s going to take all-hands-on-deck to combat the coronavirus pandemic, which is why we are working at a rapid pace in the Senate, across the aisle, to get immediate relief for our families, our workers, and our small businesses impacted by COVID-19,” said Senator Ernst, a member of the Senate Small Business Committee. “We’ve already provided additional resources to our federal, state, and local partners and health officials through the first bipartisan package. Now, today, in phase two, we’re ensuring relief specifically for families, workers, and seniors across our nation, by addressing the issue of paid sick leave, free COVID-19 diagnostic testing, and additional nutrition support for our children and our seniors.

“But of course, there is much more we need to do and that’s why I’m fighting hard for Iowans and working with my colleagues – Democrats and Republicans – on the third phase of relief, much of which will focus on support and resources for our small businesses, like so many across our state who are facing tough decisions during this difficult time.

“Having served in the military for more than twenty years, I believe that in times like these – with the unprecedented pandemic we’re facing– this is the time to lead from the front. Congress has an obligation and a duty to the American people to show leadership in this challenging time. From all levels of government to every single Iowan, we all play a role in helping mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Together, we will get through this.”

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides for emergency paid sick leave for workers impacted by COVID-19 and provides additional emergency family and medical leave for individuals who need to care for a child at home due to school or child care closures. Businesses will be fully reimbursed for wages through a 100% federal tax credit. The bill also helps vulnerable Americans, including seniors and children, access vital nutrition and food during this difficult time. Also included are provisions to ensure that Americans have access to free COVID-19 diagnostic testing when their doctor says a test is needed.

Background:

To learn more about Senator Ernst’s discussions at the State Emergency Operations Center this weekend, click here.

To watch Senator Ernst discuss the need to work together – at federal, state, and local level – to tackle COVID-19, click here.

To read Senator Ernst’s column on everyone doing their part to protect seniors and fellow Iowans from COVID-19, click here.

For more resources and information on COVID-19, you can visit Ernst’s website here

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