After voting twice for a $500 billion coronavirus slush fund for the industries whose corporate PACs are bankrolling her campaign, Senator Joni Ernst told KHOW Radio that “the bank is not open” for critical aid for Iowa workers and communities devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite 165,000 Iowans out of work and local governments facing an “economic death spiral,” Senator Ernst has made it clear that desperately needed relief for Iowa simply isn’t worth the price. But after centering her 2014 campaign on a broken promise to “make Washington squeal,” Ernst’s half-decade in DC has been chock full of billion-dollar wasteful handouts to the very actors propping up her political ambitions:

  • The Ernst-backed 2017 GOP Tax Scam literally opened the federal bank for big banks with a “windfall” of $26 billion – coming as the banking industry has contributed $1.7 million to Ernst’s campaigns. 
  • Large corporations on the receiving end of enormous tax giveaways have an ally in Ernst, who received $1.9 million in campaign cash from their corporate PACs. 
  • The Ernst-backed GOP tax scam – which has ballooned the deficit to over $1 trillionpersonally enriched Washington’s wealthiest politicians, greenlighting what amounted to self-dealing for her very colleagues who elevated her to Senate GOP Leadership.

Senator Ernst’s opposition to federal aid for Iowans affected by the pandemic has been a shameless trend since the virus’ onset. Senator Ernst not only voted to strip paid family leave and expanded unemployment benefits from the Phase Two relief package, but also opposed efforts to increase hospital funding. At the same time, she voted to bail out big corporations despite warnings that they could use the taxpayer money to reward their wealthy investors instead of paying workers. 

“Senator Ernst is all too happy to dole out billion-dollar handouts to the industries whose corporate PACs are propping up her political career – but when it comes to the needs of the people she’s supposed to represent, Iowans are left without a lifeline,” said Jeremy Busch, Iowa Democratic Party spokesperson. “When an unprecedented pandemic can’t even spur Senator Ernst to put Iowans ahead of her corporate PAC donors, it’s clear she’s inseparable from D.C.’s corrupt ways and incapable of representing working families in Washington.”

On the six-year anniversary of Senator Ernst’s infamous “Squeal” ad, the Iowa Democratic Party launched a digital ad, “Making Iowans Squeal” – earning a “A” from a Cedar Rapids Gazette Fact Check on the claim that Senator Ernst voted for a tax bill that benefited wealthy corporations.