Senators Grassley And Ernst Vote Against Unemployment Benefits And Sick Leave

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At a time when Iowans need leadership most, Ernst and Grassley have abandoned those hit hardest by the coronavirus crisis

DES MOINES, IA — Iowa State Senator Joe Bolkcom released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Labor reported that more than 20 million jobs were lost  and the unemployment rate skyrocketed to 14.7 percent in April:

“In this time of crisis, Iowans need Senators Ernst and Grassley to fight for them in Washington more than ever. But instead, they both voted to restrict unemployment benefits and prevent paid leave, critical tools that would have helped struggling Iowans get through this global pandemic. Further, they have yet to promise to ensure funding for our state and cities so they can avoid bankruptcy — which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is recklessly pushing for. We need our senators to stand up for Iowans.”


Senators Ernst and Grassley voted to restrict unemployment benefits on March 25, 2020.

Senators Ernst and Grassley voted to remove paid sick leave from a coronavirus relief bill on March 18, 2020.

Last week alone, 181,358 Iowans filed for unemployment benefits. And nationally, last month, 701,000 jobs were lost and the unemployment rate was 4.4 percent. This month’s unemployment rate was more than 10 percentage points higher – the highest it’s been since the Great Depression.


Iowa Voices is an issue advocacy, education-focused organization that communicates with Iowans on key issues as they apply to Senator Joni Ernst and her voting record. Our aim is to persuade Senator Ernst to take progressive action on critical issues that impact her constituents while holding her accountable when she fails to do so. Learn more at and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Mazie Stilwell


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