Progress Iowa Billboard Ties Senators’ SCOTUS Vote To Health Care

By Paige Godden

October 30, 2020

Progress Iowa has unveiled a new billboard on Fleur Drive in Des Moines pointing out votes by Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst to confirm Justice Amy Coney Barrett were votes against health care for Iowans.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly said he would like to terminate the Affordable Care Act, and said at a recent NBC town hall “we have a very good chance of doing it.”

Barrett will reside on the Supreme Court when it hears arguments in California v. Texas on Nov. 10. The Trump-backed lawsuit has the potential to overturn the ACA.

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Grassley and Ernst went ahead with their votes to confirm Barrett even though a recent Public Policy Polling survey showed 55 percent of Iowa voters wanted the Senate to pass coronavirus relief before considering a Supreme Court nominee and 51 percent agreed whoever wins November’s election should have been responsible for replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the court.

“Senators Grassley and Ernst have made it clear they prioritize party politics over their constituents with their votes to confirm Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court and by putting Iowans health care at risk in the middle of a pandemic,” said Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa. “They have turned their backs on Iowans when they needed him most.”

The first billboard Progress Iowa showed encouraged Iowans to call Grassley at (202) 224-3744 and tell him his vote for Barrett would put their health care at risk. (The Senate voted to confirm Barrett on Monday.)

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The billboard was revised after the senators voted 52-48 to seat Barrett on the Supreme Court. The updated version asks Iowans to call Ernst at (202) 224-3254 and tell her the vote puts their health care at risk.

In addition to Progress Iowa’s billboard, there is also a coalition of grassroots groups who have opposed Barrett since Trump nominated her on Sept. 26.

The cohort of grassroots organizations include: Progress Iowa, AFSCME Council 61, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa, Interfaith Alliance of Iowa Action Fund, Iowa Citizens Network and Indivisible Iowa.

“Senators Grassley and Ernst just voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, overturn Roe v. Wade, and strip away the rights of LGBTQ Iowans, minorities, workers, and millions more across this country by putting Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court,” the grassroots organizations wrote in a joint statement following Barrett’s confirmation.

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“It is reprehensible but not surprising that Grassley and Ernst would put politics above the priorities of Iowa families in this way, just eight days before the end of the election, and after more than seven hundred thousand Iowans have already cast their ballot.

“The message from Grassley and Ernst should be crystal clear,” the statement said. “They are telling Iowans that they care more about their political power grab than they do about listening to the voice of the people. We will continue to make sure Iowans have a voice in this process, and encourage them to speak out in every way possible to hold their Senators accountable.”

By Paige Godden
Posted 10/30/20

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