U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), a member of the Senate Small Business Committee, participated in two more telephone question-and-answer sessions with Iowans from across the state. Today, she spoke with business and community leaders in the Dubuque and Siouxland areas and discussed the COVID-19 pandemic federal relief packages she helped deliver for Iowans over the last few weeks. The calls were hosted by the Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce and the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce, respectively.
“During these uncertain and challenging times, I’m continuing to connect with Iowans from across the state. It was great to be able to hear from folks in the Dubuque and Siouxland areas today and walk through the relief packages we passed, including the support for Iowa’s small businesses,” said Senator Ernst. “From our individuals and families to our local businesses and health care workers on the front lines, I’m continuing to fight for Iowans during this time to ensure folks are getting the relief they need. Everyone can do their part and help mitigate the spread of COVID-19; together, we will get through this.”
Barry Gentry, Senior Vice President of the Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce, said, “In this most trying time in our world, country, state and community, everyone is seeking any and all information possible just to sustain. From major businesses to solopreneurs, we are all on common ground. Senator Ernst is very forthcoming and transparent and is willing to listen and discuss and explain each business relief opportunity found in the CARES Act.”
Chris McGowan, President of the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce in Sioux City, stated, “Although we had initially allocated 100 lines for this conference call, the demand to hear directly from Senator Ernst on the coronavirus crisis was so great that we had to double the number of lines available to our members. The senator fielded questions from private sector executives, public sector officials, physicians, and not-for-profit leaders over the course of a 45 minute call, and we look forward to continuing to work with Senator Ernst and her office to ensure Iowa small businesses and families get the support they need.”
Ernst continues to be in constant communication with Iowans from every corner and county of the state to ensure Iowans are receiving the support they need, including the state’s families, small business owners, health care workers, and more.
Background on Ernst’s efforts to combat COVID-19:
Senator Ernst has fought to deliver relief to all Iowans during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some of her efforts:
- Delivered major wins for Iowa’s workers, employers, health care industry, and more in the bipartisan Phase 3 package.
- Supported the “Phase 1” bipartisan package to provide additional resources to federal, state and local authorities.
- Helped pass the “Phase 2” bill to provide paid sick leave, free COVID-19 diagnostic testing, and increased support for nutrition for seniors and children.
- Called for an ‘all hands on deck’ approach to tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Urged the Senate to prioritize relief for hospitals, community health centers, and workers on the front lines.
- Announced a proposal to immediately redirect the over $350M in the Presidential Campaign Election Fund to be used to purchase specialized face masks and personal protective equipment.
- Asked the State Department to immediately act to get Iowans stranded abroad back home.
- Sought tariff relief for Iowa’s businesses by calling on Treasury to defer all tariffs during the pandemic.
- Held a telephone town hall with thousands of Iowans to help answer some questions and hear directly from folks.
- Hosted another telephone town hall with Iowa’s seniors and elderly community.
- Participated in discussions at the State Emergency Operations Center with Governor Kim Reynolds.
- Commended IRS for doing what Congress asked and automatically qualifying seniors for the direct cash payments.
- Joined Governor Reynolds at her press conference to give an update on federal relief efforts.
- Discussed the need to work together – at federal, state, and local level – to tackle COVID-19.
- Published a column on everyone doing their part to protect seniors and fellow Iowans from COVID-19.