DES MOINES – Iowa’s top Republican elected officials oppose the pandemic stimulus package that was passed Friday.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds opposed the bill, joining a statement with other Republicans governors, which claims, “Unlike all previous federal funding packages, the new stimulus proposal allocates aid based on a state’s unemployed population rather than its actual population, which punishes states that took a measured approach to the pandemic and entered the crisis with healthy state budgets and strong economies.
“A state’s ability to keep businesses open and people employed should not be a penalizing factor when distributing funds. If Congress is going to provide aid to states, it should be on an equitable population basis.”
Governors who joined the statement include Kay Ivey (R-AL), Mike Dunleavy (R-AK), Doug Ducey (R-AZ), Ron DeSantis (R-FL), Brian Kemp (R-GA), Brad Little (R-ID), Eric Holcomb (R-IN), Kim Reynolds (R-IA), Laura Kelly (D-KS), Tate Reeves (R-MS), Mike Parson (R-MO), Greg Gianforte (R-MT), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Chris Sununu (R-NH), Doug Burgum (R-ND), Mike DeWine (R-OH), Kevin Stitt (R-OK), Henry McMaster (R-SC), Kristi Noem (R-SD), Bill Lee (R-TN), Spencer Cox (R-UT) and Mark Gordon (R-WY).
Also opposing the bill were U.S. Reps. from Iowa Ashley Hinson, Randy Feenstra, and Marianette Miller-Meeks; Democrat Cindy Axne of District 3 voted in favor.
The U.S. Senate will soon take up the bill if rules allow it and if it passes, President Joe Biden is expected to sign the bill into law.
According to an analysis by the Center for American Progress, the American Rescue Plan would:
Provide $816 million for schools in Iowa to safely reopen.
Extend federal unemployment benefits through 2021. Currently 39,000 Iowans are at risk of losing unemployment benefits.
Increase the child tax credit to $3,000 per child, provide an additional $600 per child under the age of 6, make it fully refundable, and extend the maximum qualifying age to 17 to assist the caretakers of the 220,000 eligible children in Iowa.
Enhance financial assistance for health coverage through the Affordable Care Act, increasing marketplace premium subsidies available to the 48,000 Iowans who already receive financial assistance—and expanding assistance to thousands more low-income and middle-class families.
Extend the federal moratoria on evictions and foreclosures. 690,000 Iowans—30 percent of adults in the state—have fallen behind on basic household expenses. This would also extend aid to renters and small landlords and help secure housing for the 100,000 Iowans who are at risk of homelessness.
Provide another round of direct checks. The first round of direct checks reached 3.3 million Iowans as of June 2020 and provided $5.8 billion in spending power to the state. Additional $1,400 checks would provide $2.2 billion to the poorest 60 percent of Iowans, a group whose average annual income is just $35,400.