CORONAVIRUS

U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson waiting to see details of Biden's $1.9 trillion relief plan

Ashley Hinson speaks to supporters on Election Day at Jimmy Z's in southeast Cedar Rapids. Hinson, now the U.S. represen
Ashley Hinson speaks to supporters on Election Day at Jimmy Z’s in southeast Cedar Rapids. Hinson, now the U.S. representative for Iowa’s 1st District, said Friday she is reviewing President-elect Joe Biden’s American Rescue plan and hasn’t seen anything in it that is a deal-breaker for her, (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson, who has repeatedly called for targeted pandemic relief, is taking a wait-and-see approach to President-elect Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus plan.

Called the “American Rescue Plan,” the legislative proposal would meet Biden’s goal of administering 100 million vaccines by the 100th day of his administration and advance his objective of reopening most schools by the spring.

On a parallel track, it delivers another round of aid to stabilize the economy while the public health effort seeks the upper hand on the pandemic.

“My No. 1 priority is getting a targeted relief package through right now,” the freshman Republican said Friday, adding her team is tracking the president-elect’s proposal. “We’re going to look at whatever legislative text comes in from those ideas, and we’re going to go from there.”

Hinson wants to target small businesses with more Paycheck Protection Program “because a 25 percent reduction in revenue to a small business is much different from it is to a business that might employ 500 people.”

In addition to more PPP, Hinson wants to extend federal unemployment benefits to people out of work because of the pandemic.

“So we’re ready to get to work on it as soon as we see a bill,” she said, adding that, so far, she hasn’t seen anything that would be a deal-breaker for her.

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With her assignment on the House Appropriations Committee, Hinson hopes to have a role in shaping the relief package, “but again, I hope it’s targeted relief.”

Hinson again explained her opposition to the House impeachment of President Donald Trump, saying it “only served to further divide our nation just a week out from the peaceful transition of power.”

She has signed on to a bill to establish a bipartisan national commission, similar to the one that looked into the 9/11 attack on America, to investigate the invasion of the Capitol Jan. 6.

“I think that this is the best way to get to the bottom of what happened, to ensure it never happens again,” Hinson said.

She’s also joined other House members in a resolution honoring Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, who led protesters away from the entrance to the Senate chambers where lawmakers were in the process of certifying the presidential election results. They want to award Goodman the Congressional Gold Medal “for taking on the mob himself.”

“We’ll never really know how bad it could have been without their heroism and what they did to protect us,” Hinson said about the Capitol Police. “So I am incredibly grateful for their response.”

Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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