Iowa Citizen Action Network and Tax March Iowa Respond to Ernst/Reynolds/Grassley Town Hall

Elected Officials Need to Listen to Iowans

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Des Moines, Iowa — This evening, with more than 700 Iowans lost to coronavirus and close to 30,000 Iowans having tested positive for the virus, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) will be joined by Gov. Kim Reynolds and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) for a self-congratulatory tele-town hall to “discuss their support for Iowans and their families as the state works to safely reopen.”

Everyday Iowans, who bear the dire consequences of this trifecta’s politicking, can watch the town hall and submit a question through a form.

We know Ernst, Reynolds and Grassley won’t talk about real issues facing Iowans right now. But, we need them to.

Real issues demand real support from our leaders. And if these three leaders wanted to actually support us, they would:

  • Resume regular briefings from the Governor on the status of Iowa during the Pandemic. Iowans deserve to hear from their elected officials, particularly during this unprecedented pandemic.
  • Push back on the Iowa “COVID-19 Response and Back to Business Limited Liability Act” requiring that any claims of exposure to the virus meet a standard of “reckless disregard” or “actual malice” so that employers are not held liable for any injuries sustained from exposure or potential exposure to COVID-19. This is a slap in the face to workers who deserve protection and have the right to refuse work if protection is not sufficient.
  • Work non-stop during this crisis in employment, elected officials should be working to extend the additional $600 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation past the end of July. Iowans are hurting and in these uncertain times they are relying on this program. Initial unemployment claims were reported Thursday, June 25 to have reached a total of 351,272 over 13 weeks. Senator Ernst along with Republicans in Congress have failed to extend this essential program.
  • Focus on reliable, accurate and responsive COVID-19 testing. The process in Iowa seems to work for a select few, not for workers. The $26 million dollar no-bid contract for TestIowa has produced abysmal results. Iowans are being told their tests are unusable or damaged and results are taking days, sometimes weeks to be reported.
  • Work with the CDC to implement safe reopening guidelines for Iowa. Since the Governor has loosened restrictions Iowans have seen case counts climb, businesses being forced to close their doors again, school districts in limbo with no clear plan for the fall and a failure to lead from our Governor and Senators.

Real support would be working on fixing what’s broken, supporting, representing and protecting Iowans.

Real support would be an assessment of public policies and who they put at risk and who is rewarded.

Real support does not include congratulating each other on the questionable response to this pandemic.

Iowans deserve better than a lip-service town hall. We deserve real support.

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