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U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) is joining an effort to ensure first responders and law enforcement are able to do their job safely. The Stop Blocking Hospitals Act would make it a federal offense to obstruct any ambulance, fire department vehicle, law enforcement vehicle or emergency personnel from responding to an emergency. Penalties for such obstruction would include imprisonment of one to five years, a fine, or both.

“Our first responders are our nation’s heroes. We shouldn’t need federal authorities to tell local leaders that it’s a crime to prevent first responders from doing their job; but here we are,” said Senator Ernst. “Iowans won’t stand for this, and that’s why we need this commonsense bill to ensure our medical professionals can continue to provide life-saving care to folks in-need and hold accountable anyone who blocks someone from receiving essential services and medical attention.”

Background:

In a recent letter, Ernst joined her colleagues to urge Attorney General William Barr to consider whether the Department of Justice needs additional authorities, resources, and tools to combat increasing attacks against law enforcement in the midst of violent protesting across the country.

Ernst also led a letter to Office of Management and Budget Director Russ Vought to use his authority to prevent federal funding for anarchist jurisdictions and to report the amount of taxpayer dollars used to enable autonomous zones.

In June, Ernst put forward the Ending Taxpayer Funding of Anarchy Act that would restrict federal funding for anarchist jurisdictions. The bill continues to gain support from her colleagues.

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Author: Press Release