WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Theresa Greenfield, the Democratic nominee, in Iowa’s U.S. Senate race stated that she opposed U.S. Senator Joni Ernst’s bipartisan plan to provide diaper assistance for parents struggling financially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Two Iowa mothers on Friday called out Greenfield for her opposition.
During the WHO-TV Democratic U.S. Senate debate, Dave Price, the moderator, asked the candidates about Ernst’s plan.
Theresa Greenfield, did not raise her hand when when asked if this was a good use of her time.
One of Greenfield’s primary opponents, Kimberly Graham, also opposed the plan.
“We need to do other things, I would not focus there,” Graham said.
(Correction: The quote above was originally attributed to Greenfield, we apologize for this error.)
In May, Ernst and U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, D-Conn., in a letter urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to include at least $200 million in funding for diaper assistance through the Social Services Block Grant.
“COVID-19 has forced working families into dire circumstances. Even as parents face layoffs and unprecedented unemployment numbers, recent reporting has shown a run on diapers from stockpiling and supply chain issues, leaving families unsure if they will be able to access diapers for their children. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, surveys indicated that one in three families in the United States with young children could not afford and adequate supply of diapers – which costs about $18 per week – to keep their child clean, dry, and healthy. The lowest-income families pay an even higher-than-average price for diapers because they do not have access to money saving alternatives such as bulk buying or online shopping that can reduce costs. Low-income families spend abotu 14 percent of their income on diapers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, often making parents literally choose between groceries and diapers,” they wrote.
The mothers spoke out about Greenfield’s opposition during a brief press conference in Pearson Park in West Des Moines.
“This isn’t a Democrat or Republican issue. This is a common-sense. But apparently, one out-of-touch liberal, Theresa Greenfield, disagrees,” State Rep. Holly Brink, R-Oskaloosa, said. “Greenfield is against Joni’s bipartisan plan to get diapers for families in need amid COVID-19. She has completely lost touch with reality. At this time when Iowans need to work together, Ms. Greenfield puts politics ahead of people.”
“As a mom, I want nothing more than for my kids to have the resources and opportunities to live a safe and happy life,” Jen Steele, an Iowa mother, said. “When we are looking for leadership on these issues, Joni Ernst is there fighting for us.”