As COVID-19 continues to shutter family businesses, mass-infect meat packing plants, and kill more Iowans each day, Senator Joni Ernst and Senate Republicans are sending the message that there’s no rush for new aid for Iowa.
Mitch McConnell said that the Senate GOP Caucus – of which Senator Ernst is Vice Chair – has no “urgency” to act quickly, coming after the federal government “squandered” months by failing to act on the onset of the crisis. And even as COVID-19’s toll worsens in Iowa, Senator Ernst has said that prior relief efforts – including those she opposed – were sufficient and anything new would be “several weeks” away.
Senator Ernst has said that “Iowa has fared pretty well” in the pandemic, while consistently downplaying the crisis and turning a blind eye to its health and economic consequences. Does she now agree that there’s no ” urgency” to:
- Expand federal support for testing, after Iowa’s own testing solution has failed to provide rapid, accurate results?
- Provide vital aid for state and local governments on the verge of laying off “police, fire departments, emergency responders, schools, trash collectors” and other essential public workers?
- Ensure critically needed protective equipment for meat packing plants, where workers were forced back into unsafe conditions by Senator Ernst’s own efforts?
- Support rural hospitals on the cusp of financial ruin with new funding, coming after Senator Ernst opposed $130 billion from prior relief bills?
- Rebuff unemployment support for the 180,000 Iowans laid off due to the pandemic?