Iowa Senator Joni Ernst says the amount of money that would be in another coronavirus stimulus bill is one issue being debated — but she says liability protection is the biggest sticking point for her.
“Bottom line, if we do expect our schools to open, our colleges and universities to resume, our churches to protect them, our businesses — all of that — we know that we do have to have liability protections in place,” Ernst says.
Democrats are looking at a package of some three trillion dollars, while Republicans are talking about a one trillion dollar package. Ernst, a Republican from Red Oak, says they need to look at what has happened with the funds they’ve previously approved.
“We’ve already spent three trillion dollars through the CARES Act, or we’ve allocated it. What we’ve found is that there is a trillion dollars designated for certain programs through the CARES Act. And so, we really do need to take that into account as we move forward, and not just pile more money into these programs,” according to Ernst. She says they want the money to go where it will do the most good.
“We are trying to gauge that and make sure that we are very laser-focused on supporting COVID-19 recovery efforts,” Ernst says, “You know, this is not a grand give away. We won’t support that.” Ernst says she is introducing a bill that would help essential workers by giving them a tax break.
“Under my proposal, federal income taxes would be suspended for essential workers up to an annual income cap set at the highest level of pay for an enlisted person in the United States armed forces,” Ernst says. “Additionally, the bill would provide a suspension of federal payroll taxes for essential workers who earn up to $50,000 annually.”
Ernst says the essential workers are putting the interests of their fellow Americans ahead of their own and they should be rewarded for their selfless service.