WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate Wednesday passed phase two of a three-phase plan to address the problems created by the coronavirus pandemic.
Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, a Republican from Red Oak, says one of the items being discussed is a plan by the U.S. Treasury to send a $1,000 direct payment to everyone. “We are looking at that in phase three, so that will be direct support to Americans,” Ernst says.
Ernst in her weekly conference call with reporters was asked if she supports the plan. “There will be a number of discussions surrounding that, “Ernst says. “What we do know is we need to find the most effective and efficient way to deliver immediate relief to our families in Iowa. And it is something I will consider. I can’t say whether I will support that right now — but it is something for our discussion in phase three.”
Ernst says they are also considering help for non-profit groups. “There are a number of those groups that do have mortgages, they do have leases that need to be covered. So, what I would recommend to all of our great Iowa folks who want to continue with their charitable giving — is to go ahead and give to those organizations — as they would with any type of gathering or fundraiser.”
The airline industry has been hard hit as well with the cancellation of flights. “Travel is very important, we do use the airline industry as a way to maintain a mobile society. So, we will look at that and have some pretty heavy discussions with the airline industry and where we go with their particular asks,” Ernst says. “But in my mind, it always needs to be our American workers, our families, those small businesses that are very important to Iowa, they need to come first.”
Senator Ernst says the U.S. economy has taken a big hit — but she says the silver lining in the whole thing is the economy was doing very well before the virus struck. She says that gives hope that things can turn back around. This is a pandemic. This is going to be a very tough time. And I hope that we are all wrong and that we bounce right back and this virus goes away,” according to Ernst. “But, what we can do is do the best we can to stop the spread. And if we can stop the spread we can do the best that we can get our economy right back on track.”
The recovery plans being discussed could spend as much as one trillion dollars.