Greenfield says she supports additional $1,200 checks and extending $600 unemployment

    Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield drives her late husband's 1978 Chevy Nova to a press conference to the IBEW 347 local union on Sept. 29, 2020. (Photo by Linh Ta/Iowa Capital Dispatch)

    Rolling up in her late husband’s 1978 Chevrolet Nova, Senate Democratic candidate Theresa Greenfield said COVID-19 will be “one of the most consequential times” in her life and announced her policy priorities to help Iowans deal with the health and financial burdens of the pandemic.

    Greenfield held a press conference outside of the IBEW Local 347 office in Des Moines on Tuesday, just a day after her first-televised debate with Republican Sen. Joni Ernst.

    The car, “which has never been driven in the snow,” belonged to her late husband Rod, who worked as a union lineman and died on the job.

    “This is Rod’s car,” “Sometimes when I take it out for a drive, I remember my tough times but I remember all the help I’ve had.”

    Senate Democratic candidate Theresa Greenfield speaks outside a local Des Moines union on Sept. 29, 2020, to share her plans for recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Greenfield said she supports the federal government providing another round of $1,200 stimulus checks for individuals and extending the weekly $600 unemployment benefits that expired over the summer.

    House Democrats unveiled a $2.2 trillion stimulus package on Monday that includes more direct aid.

    “Iowans are going through really tough times,” Greenfield said. “There’s a pandemic. Global health crisis. Economic crisis. There’s a derecho. Brutal storm that really provided a lot of devastation in both rural and urban communities.”

    Greenfield’s plan also focuses on expanding COVID-19 mitigation, improving sick leave for workers and providing another round of direct aid both to individuals and to local municipalities.

    Though she supports a “statewide” mask mandate in Iowa, she did not go as far as saying she supported a federal mandate.

    “We have to have protections to keep Iowans safe, like expanding access to COVID testing, investing in contact tracing and a statewide mask mandate,” Greenfield said.

    During the debate Monday night, Ernst said the priorities Greenfield supports, such as supplying more personal protection equipment to workers, have already been addressed in the CARES Act. Ernst said she does not support a federal mask mandate.

    Linh Ta
    Reporter Linh Ta comes to Iowa Capital Dispatch from the Des Moines Register, where she covered trending news, public safety and the suburbs. Most recently, she has covered retail business and followed both national and local trends to provide insight about the issues that matter the most to Iowans. Beyond traditional journalism, Ta has worked as a speech coach with the Des Moines Storytellers Project with the goal of sharing the diverse perspectives of Iowans from all walks of life. She is the 2019 winner of the Young Iowa Journalist Award and the winner of an Iowa Broadcast News Award. Email her at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @linhmaita.