Greenfield: “Across our state, hardworking Iowans are stepping up to do lifesaving and essential work, but Washington isn’t working hard enough to keep them safe.”
Greenfield’s plan calls out where Washington has fallen short on PPE, testing, paid sick leave, premium pay for workers, accountability for taxpayers, and more direct and urgent economic relief for workers, small businesses and community hospitals
Businesswoman and U.S. Senate candidate Theresa Greenfield is releasing a new plan in her series of “Jobs That Need to Get Done” to protect frontline workers and put Iowa’s working families and small businesses first in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Read the new plan here.
This is Theresa’s second “Jobs That Need to Get Done” plan outlining steps Washington must take to combat COVID-19 and give hardworking Iowans a hand up. It calls for ramped-up manufacturing and distribution of personal protective equipment, expanded paid sick leave and premium pay for frontline workers, a rapid expansion of free testing, increasing direct payments to the people who need them most, support for community hospitals, and protections for Iowa’s small businesses
The new plan also emphasizes transparency and accountability to restore trust in government and ensure that politicians and corporate CEOs and shareholders are not profiting off this pandemic as new reports reveal that aid intended for small businesses is instead going to big corporations.
“During tough times like these, we need to put politics aside and stay focused on helping our neighbors and coming together,” said Theresa Greenfield. “That’s how I’ve gotten back on my feet before and it’s how we’re going to get to the other end of this pandemic. Across our state, hardworking Iowans are stepping up to do lifesaving and essential work, but Washington isn’t working hard enough to keep them safe. I’m frustrated that Congress hasn’t done nearly enough for our frontline workers, our small businesses, our rural communities, or the working families struggling to make ends meet. That’s why today I am calling on Washington to stop the delays, end the finger-pointing and finally give Iowans the hand up they need.”
- Expanded protections for health care and frontline workers: We must address the national shortage of critical medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care and other frontline workers, and immediately expand manufacturing capacity with the Defense Production Act. The federal government should also crack down on price gouging for critical protective equipment and Congress should expand paid sick leave to all workers.
- Access to free COVID-19 testing: Widespread testing will help show if people are spreading the virus before they show symptoms. This information is critical to flattening the curve and allowing Iowans to return to normal life in a way that can prioritize our safety while getting our economy up and running again.
- More direct and urgent economic aid for workers: Instead of bailouts that line the pockets of corporate CEOs and shareholders, we need to increase direct and urgent economic aid for workers, seniors, people with disabilities and their families. Congress should also provide premium pay for frontline workers, including grocery store workers, sanitation workers, and health care workers.
- Prioritize community hospitals and expand access to health care: We need to invest more in our hospitals and rural health care providers, while also coordinating with the military to increase hospital bed capacity where it is needed most. Instead of keeping enrollment closed for health insurance, we should create more opportunities for Iowans in need to get access to health coverage – especially as record numbers of Iowans file for unemployment. And the federal government should drop its dangerous lawsuit that threatens to end Iowa’s Medicaid expansion and protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
- Faster help for small businesses: Congress must ensure the Paycheck Protection Program is able to sustain small businesses without delay for the duration of this crisis and provide reassurance that it will not run dry as long as relief is still needed. It should also cut through red tape to help small businesses adapt to public health measures and increase access to capital to ensure that businesses can weather the challenging months ahead — and small businesses in rural areas must be a priority.
- More accountability for taxpayers: We need a true, independent and nonpartisan watchdog to oversee how federal stimulus dollars are being spent. At a time when Iowans are making sacrifices, Washington should not be wasting any of our taxpayer dollars or letting politics get in the way.
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.