SUNDAY TALK: Ernst: It’s Critical Iowa’s New Parents Get Assistance Now—Not a Year From Now

U. S. Senator Joni Ernst

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) is supporting bipartisan legislation that would allow parents with a newborn child to claim an additional $500 in direct financial assistance provided through the CARES Act right away instead of waiting until they receive their tax return next year.

“For new parents, this pandemic has brought unforeseen challenges at such an important time in their lives,” said Senator Joni Ernst. “The COVID-19 relief legislation we passed earlier this year was designed in part to help these families, and it’s critical they get assistance now—not a year from now. This bipartisan legislation will make that simple fix to ensure Iowa families get this vital support right away.”

The CARES Act included $1,200 economic impact payments for qualifying taxpayers, with a $500 boost for each qualifying child. Unfortunately, parents with children born in calendar year 2020 cannot receive the $500 boost until filing their taxes in 2021. The Newborn CARES Act would simply allow these families to receive that payment now, rather than waiting until next year, and the proposal would be cost-neutral.

Since the onset of this pandemic, Senator Ernst has pushed to help Iowa families in several ways. Just this week, she called on the Senate to provide additional support to child care workers and providers in Iowa and across the country, who were already facing challenges even before COVID-19. She also helped secure nearly $32 million for Iowa through the Child Care and Development Block Grant program.

As a member of the Senate Small Business Committee, Ernst fought to make sure that Iowa’s child care providers could access the Paycheck Protection Program. In addition Ernst supported funding in the relief packages for Head Start, family violence prevention and services, runaway and homeless youth programs, child welfare services, and child nutrition programs.

Outside of the COVID-19 relief packages, Ernst has put forward bipartisan legislation to expand access to quality affordable child care by allowing non-profit child care providers to utilize programs offered by the Small Business Administration. In addition, Ernst has also been working across the aisle to increase access to licensed child care services in child care deserts through state grants that would cover some of the cost of programs to support training for caregivers and projects to build, expand, or renovate child care

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