Deriding Funding as “Pork” and a “Bailout” for “Poor Choices,” Senator Ernst Has Opposed Vital Aid to Localities Devastated by the Pandemic

As Iowa communities face “major budget problems” brought on by COVID-19 impacting at least 25% of local revenue, Senator Joni Ernst continues to stand in the way of vital relief for state and local governments. Ernst has repeatedly rejected new aid as “pork,” “gimmicks,” and a “bailout” for “bad choices” – and now, Mitch McConnell, who Ernst has sided with 98% of the time, is pushing for a “bankruptcy route” that would set Iowa back for decades.

Senator Ernst’s continued opposition comes as Iowa faces another week of record unemployment filings with over 235,000 in just five weeks, erasing tax revenue that local governments rely on for first responders, infrastructure, and mainstreet development. In a clear sign of her priorities, all indications are that Senator Ernst is content leaving Iowa’s beleaguered state and local government in the red due to a pandemic – yet she proudly voted twice to green-light billions of dollars for massive corporations to pad their bottom line.

“Senator Ernst’s opposition to relief for state and local government is nothing more than yet another partisan, reckless barrier to relief Iowans need. Rather than fighting for Iowa communities with so much on the line, Ernst’s refusal to act would have ramifications lasting decades – halting infrastructure projects, laying off frontline workers, and inhibiting efforts to boost mainstreet businesses when Iowa is prepared to spring back,” said Jeremy Busch, Iowa Democratic Party spokesperson.