RED OAK —U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) released the following statement after the Senate unanimously passed additional COVID-19 relief funding, including more money for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) program and support for health care providers:
“Since the outbreak of COVID-19, and as we’ve worked through each relief package, I’ve made it a priority to continue listening to Iowans in every corner of the state to ensure that we’re meeting folks’ needs as we face these unprecedented times. Almost immediately after we passed the bipartisan Phase 3 relief package, and the Paycheck Protection Program was implemented, I heard from Iowans about the success of this program. In Iowa alone, nearly 30,000 small businesses have been approved for loans, and $4.3 billion in funds have been approved—allowing these critical local employers to pay both their workers and their bills.
“That’s why I’m glad to see the Senate come together, once again, and add more money into this lifeline for our workers and small businesses. It shouldn’t have taken this long, and our Democratic friends let politics get in the way, but the good news is that – as a result of this new funding – more businesses in Iowa will be able to stay afloat; our ag industry will now have additional access to relief; our hospitals and health providers will receive more assistance; and testing for COVID-19 will be ramped up. More relief is on the way to Iowans.”
Senator Ernst has fought tirelessly to ensure Iowans are getting the support they need during COVID-19. After hearing from local business owners, Ernst echoed their calls to bolster relief for small businesses through the PPP. After Democrats blocked additional and critically-needed funding for the program, Ernst called on her colleagues to put politics aside and work to get this support for small businesses approved.
The PPP has been a success in Iowa, and across the country. Today, Ernst spoke with substance abuse and mental health providers who credited the PPP with helping them remain open and continuing to provide critical services to those in need. In total, according to the Small Business Administration (SBA), nearly 30,000 Iowa small businesses have received loans as part of the PPP.
In addition, Ernst called on the SBA to ensue Iowa’s farmers are able to access the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), and as a result of this relief package, farmers will have access to these loans.In today’s bipartisan package, the Senate also increased funding for the EIDL program – which will help businesses, and now farmers, across Iowa.
In addition, Ernst has also continued to advocate for Iowa’s health care community on the front lines of COVID-19. She successfully helped include critical funding for the health care community in the bipartisan Phase 3 package. Ernst has urged the federal government to immediately assist rural hospitals and clinics by prioritizing funding for these critical health care providers. And, after hearing from county hospitals in Iowa, shecalled on the Senate to provide public hospitals with additional through the PPP.