Rep. Axne Statement on Expiration of CARES Act Unemployment Benefits and Negotiations on Next COVID-19 Package

July 31, 2020
Press Release

Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) issued the following statement after the U.S. Senate adjourned yesterday without advancing a coronavirus relief bill to extend protections for unemployed Iowans, families facing eviction, and others still dealing with the burdens of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic:

“I’m disappointed that it took the Senate until this week – when millions of Americans faced a financial cliff that takes away eviction protections and enhanced unemployment benefits – to even introduce their version of a COVID-19 aid bill and come to the negotiating table. We’ve known for months the impacts of the pandemic wouldn’t end on July 31st – and the aid we’ve approved to help those who are out of work and hurting shouldn’t stop today either.

By adjourning yesterday without a deal, over 100,000 Iowans who are out of work are now getting a dramatic cut in the benefits that have helped keep food on their tables and continue to be without the eviction moratorium that ensured they could keep a roof over their heads during a public health crisis.

There are provisions in the Senate Republicans’ bill that I am fully supportive of and have advocated for – like ensuring we protect child care savings for families, expand stimulus check eligibility for families with older dependents, and give smaller businesses the chance for a second round of PPP loans to stay afloat.

I’m concerned, however, that there is not enough in that bill to support our local governments and the critical services they provide – or for our schools, teachers, and students that are going to be navigating some form of return to the classroom this fall.

I’m fed up with the Washington games that we seem to be playing again with the inclusion of completely unrelated items like nearly $2 billion for a new FBI headquarters. I’ve spoken out against unnecessary spending in my own party’s bill, and I will urge both parties to remove these provisions before striking a final agreement.

But above all, I’m extremely disappointed that as early as Wednesday, the White House admitted that millions of Americans would have to accept that the bipartisan momentum that we had used to respond to this pandemic in March was no longer there to find a solution for our constituents. Americans deserve better from their leaders.

For the sake of those I hear from every single day in Iowa, I hope Senate Republicans and White House will come to their senses soon. Until they do, I and many of my colleagues will continue to work on ways to provide support for Americans in their time of need.”