# COVID-19



Much to celebrate this Labor Day, but more work to do

Chris Schwartz is state director for Americans for Democratic Action and a Black Hawk County supervisor.

As we celebrate workers this Labor Day, it’s important to acknowledge it’s been a rough couple of years for American workers. Working families were battered by a pandemic that caused massive unemployment, loss of health coverage and financial hardship for tens of millions of working people.

But thanks to swift bipartisan action in 2020, Congress passed historic relief packages that helped workers, extended health coverage and protected the majority of Americans from COVID-19’s worst harms.

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Grassley, Hinson bash student loan relief, but not other government handouts

Like their counterparts across the country, top Iowa Republicans howled on August 24 when President Joe Biden rolled out a three-pronged student loan relief program.

Speaking at a town hall meeting, Senator Chuck Grassley asserted that it’s “unfair” to forgive some student loans but not help other people who struggle to repay their obligations.

U.S. Representative Ashley Hinson denounced the plan as a “handout to the wealthy and a total slap in the face” to working people who didn’t go to college or already paid off their student loans.

The outrage over student debt relief was striking, since Grassley and Hinson have not objected to some other federal government handouts, which benefited their own families.

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Iowa Democratic Party's Disability Caucus endorses Dr. Glenn Hurst

Julie Russell-Steuart is a printmaker and activist who chairs the Iowa Democratic Party’s Disability Caucus.

Glenn Hurst is a rural doctor in the small southwestern Iowa town of Minden and a founding member of Indivisble Iowa, whose activism helped elect U.S. Representative Cindy Axne. He faces Abby Finkenauer and Mike Franken in the June 7 Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.

Dr. Hurst has earned our endorsement for his strong experience advocating for people with disabilities and because he is laser focused on improving the lives of the American people in crucial ways.

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Iowa lawmakers ban schools, day cares from requiring COVID-19 vaccines

Iowa Republican lawmakers gave anti-vaccine forces a parting gift on what may be the final day of the 2022 legislative session. On a party-line vote of 29 to 16, the Senate approved a ban on COVID-19 vaccination requirements for young children in day care or students at any level of education.

House members approved House File 2298 in February, and the bill made it through the Senate Judiciary Committee in time for the legislature’s second “funnel” deadline. It had languished on the “unfinished business” calendar for two months as House and Senate leaders negotiated behind the scenes on various unresolved issues.

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On an Australian travelogue and Iowa travesties

Herb Strentz contrasts charming Australia molehills with troubling American mountains.

While spending a month in Australia, I found some charming molehills. Sadly, though, the “molehills” did not provide needed diversion from the troubling mountains of discord and lies in Iowa public life.

Way back in 1989, in a PBS program, “The Truth About Lies,” Bill Moyers asked, “…can a nation die of too many lies?” A reprise of that program today might straightforwardly declare, “Our nation is dying of too many lies.”

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Tax Day 2022: The rich get richer while everyday Iowans struggle

Sue Dinsdale is the director of Iowa Citizen Action Network and leads the Health Care For America NOW campaign in Iowa.

Rising inflation and the escalating cost of everything from gas to houses made Tax Day 2022 more memorable for some Americans than in past years. Rising economic anxiety is bound to collide with middle class tax bills as families worry about the future and make plans to tighten their belts over the short-term. 

But the nation’s 700 billionaires face no such worries. Unlike the rest of us who struggled through the pandemic and are now trying to catch up in its aftermath, billionaires actually increased their wealth substantially during the last two years.

Yet, thanks to our skewed tax code, they won’t have to pay more in taxes like the rest of us do. 

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