Government

Theresa Greenfield wants Joni Ernst back in Washington to increase Postal Service funding

US Senate candidate Theresa Greenfield speaks during the Finkenauer Fish Fry at the Hawkeye Downs Expo Center in Cedar R
US Senate candidate Theresa Greenfield speaks during the Finkenauer Fish Fry at the Hawkeye Downs Expo Center in Cedar Rapids on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

Calling for quick action to fund and protect the U.S. Postal Service, Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield on Tuesday called on U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst to end her “vacation” and go back to Washington to demand Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell open the Senate for business.

“You know, we’re just here today to talk a little bit about why it is so important that the U.S. Senate, and in particular Sen. Joni Ernst, get back to Washington and put politics aside and get to work to protect the Postal Service,” Greenfield said during a virtual news conference.

“Ernst, she skipped town, and she should be in Washington right now doing her job to pass this critical legislation and more,” Greenfield said. “This really ticks me off, I have to tell you.”

Senators are scheduled to return to the Capitol on Sept. 8 after their annual monthlong state work period.

The “get back to work” argument is generally made by Senate challengers of both parties and members of the minority party. Greenfield used Ernst’s words to make her case.

“We shouldn’t be able to leave on vacation, or go home, or go wherever,” Ernst said in 2018. “We should be working nights, we should be working weekends, we should be working through August and any other state work period.”

Her campaign had no comment on that, but pointed out that Ernst isn’t on a vacation.

“In August alone, Joni met with folks across 33 counties, pushed the president to come to Iowa and approve an emergency declaration for Linn County in near record time, and has lent a hand to those in need,” campaign spokesman Brendan Conley said.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

Ernst also “stood up and voted for relief for Iowans, which contained $10 billion for the postal service,” he said. “Joni supports USPS and ensuring they have the funding they need to carry out their important role in this election.”

Democrats have called for an additional $25 billion in funding for the post office — double the $10 billion loan Congress approved earlier this year. The Postal Service has access to the loan to fund operating expenses to March 2022. However, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said the Postal Service “remains on an unsustainable path” and must improve operational efficiency.

Joining Greenfield on the call was Tom Kinn of the National Association of Letter Carriers. Its Iowa affiliate has endorsed Greenfield, who said letter carriers hold “really good-paying union jobs ... (that) provide economic basis and prosperity for our communities.”

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

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.