Greenfield calls for more action in Washington in the face of mounting COVID-19 crisis: “Now, more than ever, Washington should take a lesson from Iowa’s small towns and pull together to get this done.”
Businesswoman and U.S. Senate candidate Theresa Greenfield today unveiled a new plan to put hardworking Iowans first while combating the coronavirus pandemic. This six-point proposal to protect Iowans and restore trust in our government is the second in Theresa’s series of “Jobs That Need to Get Done.” Read the plan here.
Theresa remains focused on putting the health, economic security and dignity of Iowa workers front and center as Congress debates the next steps in combating the spread of COVID-19. Last week, she published an op-ed in the Cedar Rapids Gazette, calling on Congress to step up and put working people first in the fight against this virus.
Her new plan prioritizes the Iowa workers on the frontlines of this crisis — hourly employees who have been laid off or seen their hours cut back, and health care professionals, service workers, and others risking their health and safety to keep Iowans safe — while also protecting the rural communities across Iowa now facing a shortage of hospital beds, and small businesses throughout struggling to stay afloat. This plan also demands transparency from our leaders while stopping big corporations from cashing in on the crisis.
“Hardworking Iowans on the frontlines of this crisis can’t afford to wait around while politicians in Washington point fingers and play political games,” said Theresa Greenfield. “Instead of a bailout that lines the pockets of big corporations and their CEOs, Congress must work to provide urgent health care and direct economic relief to those who need it most. That should start by expanding access to testing, treatment, and personal protective equipment, opening up more rural hospital beds, expanding paid sick leave, putting money in the pockets of workers hit hardest, and giving our small businesses the support they need to weather these tough times. Now, more than ever, Washington should take a lesson from Iowa’s small towns and pull together to get this done.”
- Prioritizing Health & Safety: We need to dramatically ramp up manufacturing and distribution of free testing kits, ventilators, and vital medical supplies like face masks, gloves, and gowns. Our response should coordinate with the military to increase hospital beds in hard-hit and rural areas, and protect Iowans in small towns by lifting hospital bed limits, increasing funding for rural hospitals, and expanding telehealth services.
- Putting Workers First: We should provide crisis mitigation payments that go directly into the pockets of Iowans, focusing on hourly workers who have been laid off or seen their hours cut back, farmers facing unprecedented disruptions, and working families who are making sacrifices. We should expand unemployment insurance benefits, food assistance, and student loan relief, ensure that frontline workers have access to child care, and pass expanded paid sick leave immediately.
- Giving Small Businesses a Hand Up: We need to provide no-interest bridge loans and disaster relief payments to keep small businesses afloat and help them look out for their workers to prevent massive job loss. Meanwhile, we should look to cut red tape to make it easier for businesses to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances.
- No Hand Outs to Big Corporations & CEOs without Worker Protections: The last thing we need is a bailout to big corporations that lines the pockets of their CEOs and shareholders. We must prioritize urgent economic relief to working families and small businesses, and any taxpayer dollars going toward economic relief must be tied to protecting jobs for workers and restricting executive bonuses and share buybacks.
- Lead with Honesty and Transparency: It’s unacceptable that politicians in Washington ignored warning signs and downplayed COVID-19 to the public, but now is the time for leaders to act with honesty, transparency, and accountability, including clear reporting of tests and data that helps keep us safe. Once this crisis is over, there should be an investigation into the troubling reports of politicians in Washington using their offices to look out for their own financial interests instead of our public health and safety.
- Protecting Voting Rights: During a crisis like this, it’s especially important that people are able to make their voices heard. We need to make it easier to vote by mail, so we can ensure seniors and those at risk can cast their votes safely.
In addition to postponing in-person events, the Greenfield for Iowa campaign is taking precautions by having all staff work remotely and encouraging social distancing practices at all times. For more information on Iowa’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, please visit the Iowa Department of Public Health website.