Ernst, Grassley sought lower payments for unemployed in new COVID-19 bill

Congress “expanded unemployment insurance by 250 billion dollars” to support laid-off workers, Senator Joni Ernst said during a news conference organized by Governor Kim Reynolds on March 29.

She didn’t mention that she and fellow Republican Senator Chuck Grassley had voted to reduce the amount millions of jobless people will receive over the next four months.

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What better time?

Ira Lacher reflects on the unprecedented crisis we are facing. -promoted by Laura Belin

What will we have learned after this has ended?

How will America and Americans be different?

How will America and Americans be better?

What kind of nation will America be in the year 1 A.C. (after COVID-19) that we were not in the year 1 B.C. (before COVID-19)?

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Denial, economics, and COVID-19

Dan Guild on how an avalanche of new unemployment claims will not only be a human tragedy, but also strain hospital finances and state budgets. -promoted by Laura Belin

We are in the midst of a health crisis, first and foremost. That should not be forgotten, and I will highlight one aspect of that crisis a little later in the piece.

But we are also in the midst of an economic crisis, and despite what you have may read about the stock market, that crisis is being underestimated. Every week the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports how many people filed new claims for unemployment insurance. Those numbers are the closest thing to real-time data that we have about the U.S. labor market.

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COVID-19 causing Iowa unemployment claims to skyrocket

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is causing massive economic disruption as many workplaces close and consumers scale back their normal activities. Economists are predicting a “sharp increase in the unemployment rate nationally.”

The state agency that handles Iowa’s unemployment payments has been receiving as many new claims in a day as they would normally receive “in a busy month.”

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Steve King votes against coronavirus response bill (updated)

The U.S. House has fast-tracked a bill responding to the economic challenges created by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. All 223 Democrats present–including Iowa’s Representatives Abby Finkenauer (IA-01), Dave Loebsack (IA-02), and Cindy Axne (IA-03)–voted for the bill shortly before 1:00 am on March 14, joined by 140 Republicans (roll call). U.S. Representative Steve King (IA-04) was one of 40 House Republicans to vote no.

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