KIMT-TV 3 – Reaction is coming in to the U.S. Senate passing a $2 trillion stimulus bill to help the economy deal with the coronavirus crisis.
U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) - “As this COVID-19 pandemic has evolved, I’ve continued to listen to Iowans from all sectors of our economy, and there has been one resounding message: we need relief, and we need it now. After heeding these calls, I pushed my colleagues to take swift, bold action to deliver immediate aid to folks in Iowa, and across the country. And thankfully, we’ve done that. From Phase 1, where we bolstered our state and local response efforts; to Phase 2 where we provided paid sick leave and free testing; and now, to Phase 3 where we’ve come to the aid of America’s workforce and those in our health care industry on the front lines of this pandemic.
“Iowans from every corner of our state – moms and dads, nurses and doctors, small business employers and employees, cashiers and clerks, seniors and students, veterans and farmers – will get support from this Phase 3 deal. The Senate has stepped up in this time of crisis and delivered critical additional relief for Iowans and all Americans.
“Now, the House must do their job, pass this bipartisan bill quickly, and get it to President Trump’s desk. We don’t have time for delay; Iowans need this aid right now.”
U.S. Senator Tina Smith (DFL-Minn.) - “We are facing an unprecedented health and economic crisis in the coronavirus pandemic. With this bipartisan legislation, help is on the way. This legislation will provide significant and urgently needed help for our health care system, families and small businesses,” said Sen. Smith “Minnesotans are coming together to respond to this economic and public health catastrophe. With this legislation, families will see direct financial help, local businesses will find a lifeline, and our heroic health care workers will know we have their backs. This pandemic will touch all of us, and this bipartisan agreement is a major step forward in our country’s response. There will be more work to do, and I’ll keep working to get help to people as quickly as possible.”
Iowa Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Theresa Greenfield – “It’s good Washington finally did something for workers and small businesses last night. But I'm frustrated. We needed action days ago. We need paid sick leave now. We need more testing and medical supplies. We need more payments that go directly to workers."
“We need to do more to protect workers and ensure no taxpayer dollars go toward enriching corporate CEOs. I can’t believe Senator Ernst supported earlier versions with even less accountability for taxpayers. Families and small businesses must come first, not big corporations.”
"This is personal for me. When my first husband died, Social Security survivor benefits helped us get by. We need to make sure every Iowan – whether you're out of work, fighting on the frontlines, or caring for a loved one – can get a hand up when it matters most."
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (DFL-Minn.) - “As we confront the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, we must protect the health, safety, and economic security of the American people. After days of bipartisan negotiations, the emergency relief package that the Senate has passed will deliver much needed assistance to patients and those on the front lines combating this pandemic and will provide economic support for people across the country. While this legislation is a step in the right direction, there is much more work to do and I will continue fighting for all Americans.”
Executive Director of the Main Street Alliance, Amanda Ballantyne - “The best way to support the economy during this crisis is to keep workers getting paychecks, and keep small businesses solvent.
"We hear every day from small business owners who have been forced to lay off employees, and have been waiting to hear what support was coming -- and if they will get a lifeline or will need to permanently close their doors. And for them, this package has needed elements -- but in the wrong order."
"Small businesses across the county have been loud and clear about what they need, calling for job retention grants to keep employees on payroll and accessing their health care- whether they are working or not. Second, we need a significantly expanded safety net for those already laid off, and third low or no interest forgivable small business loans could be used to fill in the gaps. This package delivers on all three elements, but in the reverse order: a big loans program, a significant and critical expansion of UI, and a small grant program capped at $10,000 per company, none large enough to truly tackle the problem."
"The largest piece of funding in the bill is reserved for large corporations. The Senate could have centered small business needs, instead we got a $450 billion fund that small businesses cannot access."
"Small businesses simply will not take out loans to cover payroll with no revenue coming in, putting these loans at risk of not being eligible for forgiveness. And structural inequities in our lending institutions mean women and small business owners or color are less likely to get loans, and if they do access them, they are small and on worse terms. The way this program is designed, many small businesses will likely close rather than take on the risk of debt."
"This package is a start on which we can improve. It must advance in the House and be signed by the President. The health care system and unemployment expansions are necessary. They need to be put in place quickly and with true equity of access. And we must ensure, in partnership with the SBA, this is implemented quickly and in a streamlined way that reduces any burden on already struggling small businesses."