Iowa has faced no shortage of challenges in recent years – and the derecho that tore through our state two weeks ago has once again devastated many of the same families who already know the damage caused by floods, a trade war, a global pandemic, and now an economic recession.
I’ve seen the resilience of Iowans firsthand, and these past few weeks are no exception. I’m grateful for everyone who has stepped up to help restore power, clear debris, and distribute supplies. If you need help finding a way to lend a hand, you can find some volunteer opportunities here.
Here’s a quick recap of some of the work I’ve been doing to support these recovery efforts and prevent other crises from hurting our families:
Blocking Short-Sighted Changes and Seeking New Leadership at the U.S. Postal Service
On Saturday, I voted with my colleagues to pass the Delivering for America Act, which I cosponsored, to prevent mail delivery slowdowns in Iowa. Learn more here.
I’ve heard from Iowans across the Third District about how much our communities rely on the U.S. Postal Service to get deliveries of lifesaving medications, important documents and bills, paychecks and Social Security benefits, and other vital correspondence.
You’ve told me about the delays you’ve seen in these critical deliveries over recent weeks – shipments that would normally taken days are now taking weeks. Our local postal workers have reached out about operational changes that have slowed the sorting, processing, and delivery of mail across our state.
These delays are unacceptable, and they threaten the health and financial wellbeing of Iowans. That’s why I cosponsored the Delivering for America Act and helped advance it out of the House last weekend. The bill would provide emergency funding for the U.S. Postal Service while reversing operational changes to stop these delays.
In light of this growing crisis at the USPS, I also believe these changes must be passed in conjunction with the removal of current leadership. Last week, I called on Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to resign. Read my reasons why here.
Securing Federal Assistance for Recent Derecho
Last week, I took a tour of storm damage from the derecho at a family farm near Bondurant.
Two weeks ago, Iowa was hit with a devastating derecho that knocked out power for thousands, damaged trees and crops, and wreaked havoc in communities across our state. And the good work of our volunteers and neighbors won’t be enough. Even now, many are still without power and have suffered losses that we are only beginning to fully grasp.
That’s why, after hearing from county emergency managers and local officials in the days after the storm that additional help would be needed, I wrote to Governor Reynolds to urge her to quickly request a federal disaster declaration from FEMA and President Trump.
Once that request was sent, the entire Iowa Congressional delegation and I backed up that request by urging the President to quickly approve it – and have been pushing him to approve all parts of that request as soon as possible. In addition, my colleagues and I have urged the USDA to also approve an emergency declaration so that farmers who have lost crops and agricultural infrastructure can start to navigate their own recovery.
If you have questions or are having difficulty navigating aid programs to help your family begin to rebuild, call or write to my office here.
Fighting for a COVID-19 Aid Deal
After the House adjourned last week without movement on a COVID-19 aid deal, I shared my thoughts on the need for an agreement.
Over the past month, the burdens of COVID-19 in Iowa have only grown. Our businesses are continuing to be squeezed by diminished demand, our schools are struggling to navigate how to safely resume classes this fall, and countless families that are struggling to make ends meet are making impossible choices to try to keep food on their tables and a roof over their heads.
I am deeply frustrated that negotiations over a new COVID-19 aid package in Washington have ground to a halt – especially as critical pieces of the CARES Act like expanded unemployment benefits and the eviction moratorium have expired. The families, workers, and communities of Iowa’s Third District cannot afford for there to not be a new agreement.
I’ve written to Speaker Pelosi, urging her to bring up a revised, straightforward package that would help revive negotiations with the Senate – and continue to urge the White House and congressional leaders to get a deal done as soon as possible. I know families in Iowa who cannot afford these continued delays, and I will keep fighting for them until we achieve bipartisan compromise again in Washington.
Be well and stay safe,