Sen. Joni Ernst hosted a call with the press on Wednesday. The conversation was dominated by the Coronavirus.
“While there is no question that our nation and our state face a serious challenge, I am fully confident that together we will overcome it,” Ernst said. “That’s why we’re taking an all-hands-on-deck approach.”
The Senate is working on legislation passed by the House and expects to vote on Phase II today. Ernst said it is important to act as workers, employers and the economy have taken a direct hit from the virus.
“All ideas are on the table right now,” Ernst said.
With 99 percent of businesses in Iowa being small businesses, Ernst said it is important to provide some relief for those owners. The goal of Phase III of the legislation will provide relief in the most effective and efficient way possible.
Issues resulting from the virus include childcare as well as taking care of the high-risk populations. Ernst said it is also important to keep the supply chain strong.
“All Iowans need to continue to take this seriously,” Ernst said. “We each will need to do our part to look out for one another, especially our seniors and those most at risk. But like every other challenge America has faced, we will get through this together.”
Ernst was asked about potential payments of $1,000 to adult Americans. She said that is being explored in Phase III. Ernst wouldn’t say whether she supports such an idea right now.