Even As Experts Warn of “Slowing Recovery,” Senator Ernst Continues to Downplay Pain of Working Families While Pushing Bailouts for Corporate Donors

Today’s new jobs report shows that Iowa unemployment claims are unfortunately “on the rise again” – spiking last week by 38% with 135,000 Iowans now out of work. But even as the economic crisis shows signs of resurging, Senator Joni Ernst is still refusing to support renewing critical benefits for Iowans who lost their jobs because of the pandemic that are set to expire at the end of July.

Increasingly vulnerable as voters hold her accountable for failing to respond to the pandemic, Senator Ernst has sought to paint a perverse picture that Iowa is well on its way to full economic recovery. After six straight weeks of a record-number of Iowans out of work, Ernst claimed that “Iowa has fared pretty well.” And within days of the U.S. officially entering a recession, Ernst took to Twitter boasting that only 13% of workers were unemployed and that the economy was “in a recovery process.”

Senator Ernst’s efforts to downplay the crisis haven’t stopped her from pushing massive bailouts for the big corporations bankrolling her campaign at the expense of hard-working Iowans. Ernst voted twice for a $500 billion corporate slush fund that could have allowed some C-suite executives to fire workers while using relief money to pad their own bonuses. All the while, she voted to strip expanded unemployment benefits and paid family leave from pandemic relief – only to later claim credit for the benefits to cover her tracks.

“Senator Ernst promised she’d ‘make Washington squeal’ – but the only folks feeling the pain are the working families and small businesses she’s left behind,” said Jeremy Busch, Iowa Democratic Party spokesperson. “In the toughest of times, Senator Ernst put her corporate special interest donors ahead of the Iowa workers bearing the worst – and they won’t forget Ernst’s indifference come November.”