With 22 contracted cases of COVID-19 in Iowa, reaching community spread, it’s long-past time for Senator Joni Ernst to end her election-year politics and immediately pass the urgent relief package she failed to fight for last week.

As Iowa schools were shutting down and workers sent home, Senator Ernst could have used her rank in Senate Leadership to demand the Senate remain in session until the final aid package was negotiated and ready for Congressional approval. Yet – as House Democrats worked deep into Friday night to pass a bipartisan relief package providing Iowans free testing, paid sick leave, food assistance, and more – Senator Ernst was already back home after failing to even consider a single measure.

Now, after new reports that Mitch McConnell has pushed the package later into this week, Ernst is egregiously standing silently by – all while this crisis takes an enormous toll on Iowa communities, with no signs of slowing down.

“Enough is enough. Senator Ernst must stand up to Mitch McConnell and act on the pandemic that’s putting Iowans’ lives on the line,” said Jeremy Busch, Iowa Democratic Party spokesperson. “When Iowans needed a leader in the Senate the most, Senator Ernst turned tail and headed home. Since day one, she has downplayed this crisis, blindly defended the administration’s failed response, and put politics above the people of Iowa. Senator Ernst must do her job and demand immediate action.”