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Iowa lawmakers reviewing COVID stimulus bill ahead of Monday’s expected vote

Published: Dec. 20, 2020 at 11:17 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Congress is expected to vote Monday on a $900 billion COVID-19 stimulus bill, which comes after months of start-and-stop negotiations and stalemates and is reported to include a second round of Paycheck Protection Program funding and a $600 direct payment to most Americans.

Members of Iowa’s Congressional delegation said they were reviewing the bill Sunday night in advance of the vote.

Brendan Conley, Iowa communications director for Republican Sen. Joni Ernst, said, “Senator Ernst has long called for Congress to step up and provide additional relief to Iowans and all Americans. She is continuing to review the details of this deal and is pushing to get critical relief for Iowa as soon as possible.”

Democratic Congresswoman Cindy Axne, who represents Des Moines and southwest Iowa in the state’s Third Congressional District, tweeted Sunday, “This is a long-overdue measure that will help Iowans in need. I look forward to reviewing the full scope of this deal – including provisions that will fund our government, crack down on surprise medical billing, & more. One thing is for sure: the work does not stop here.”

Axne continued in a second tweet, “Approving another 24-hour continuing resolution to stave off a government shutdown is a necessary but sad statement on the basic functions of Congress. Seven CRs in 2 years. 3 in 2 weeks. Next Congress, we need to seriously reflect on how we can end this budget brinkmanship.”

In a third tweet, Axne said, “And while enhanced unemployment insurance, direct payments, PPP loans, vaccine distribution support, & other important funding for Iowa communities is all critical to helping Iowa – this should not and cannot be our last measure to protect those hurting from COVID19.”

The offices of Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, First District Democratic Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer, and Second District Democratic Congressman Dave Loebsack did not respond to a request for comment.

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