Iowa Senator Joni Ernst says a pandemic relief package is an immediate priority for the Republican-led senate yet this year.
“Hopefully we can get a Covid-19 recovery package. I think that’s important. It’s something that I continued to hear even while I was on the campaign trail, how Iowans really hoped we could step up get a targeted relief bill done,” Ernst said Tuesday during a Capitol Hill news conference. “There are still so many people that are hurting across the nation and we would love to get them relief.”
It’s still unclear how large a relief package might be. Senate Republicans opposed the $1.8 trillion spending level the White House and House Democratic leaders were discussing before the election. On Tuesday,
During a private meeting yesterday, Ernst’s fellow Republicans re-elected her vice chair of the Republican Conference in the U.S. Senate.
“Coming through this last election cycle, which was very difficult for so many, we actually saw some pretty incredible gains by conservative women and what we could say was this was the year for the GOP women,” Ernst told reporters. “We gained seats in the House and we are also gaining another woman in our Republican Conference, Cynthia Lummis from Wyoming.”
So far, a record 14 Republican women have been confirmed the winners of races for seats in the U.S. House. Four others — including Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Ottumwa — are waiting for their House races to be called.
“We hope that young conservative women will take a look a tthe make-up of congress,” Ernst said, “and determine that there is opportunity out there for them as well.”
Ernst won re-election to a second term in the U.S. Senate by a nearly seven point margin. She’s been on the Senate GOP leadership team since mid-November of 2018.