Joni Ernst Backs Hawley Bill to Block Universities with $10 Billion Endowments from Receiving Aid

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 10: U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) speaks as Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) and Senate Majority Whip Sen. John Thune (R-SD) listen during a news briefing after the weekly Senate Republican policy luncheon September 10, 2019 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Senate GOPs held the …
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Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) announced on Thursday that she would cosponsor Sen. Josh Hawley’s legislation (R-MO) to prevent universities with large endowments from receiving coronavirus aid.

Hawley and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) announced in April that they would sponsor legislation to prevent universities with endowments larger than $10 billion from coronavirus aid.

Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Martha McSally (R-AZ), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) cosponsored the Senate version, while Rep. Ben Cline (R-VA) cosponsored the House version.

Ernst, one of the Senate’s leading government waste hawks, said that she will cosponsor the bill.

Ernst said in a statement that universities with multibillion-dollar endowments should use their own funds before receiving government-funded assistance.

Ernst said:

With small businesses and families across Iowa facing serious challenges and uncertainty during this crisis, it’s unconscionable that universities with multi-billion dollar endowments would take a dime of critical COVID-19 aid meant for those most in need.

“These universities are sitting on billions—they should be using their own money first to help students before going to the taxpayer. Let’s make sure this aid is going to those who need it most,” she added.

Ernst’s announcement follows as she told Breitbart News in a press conference on Wednesday that she will cosponsor legislation to eliminate a Democrat carveout for millionaires. The carveout would allow millionaires to obtain unemployment benefits created through the CARES Act.

She told Breitbart News:

I mean, where is Nancy Pelosi from? She is one of those wealthy, coastal elites. To shore up their support for Democrats certainly, they want to include these carveouts, and allowing millionaires to take the extra $600 a week that is coming from people, from hardworking Americans and Iowans, is absolutely ludicrous. That’s not something that they paid into through payroll taxes; it’s just government funds that are going to these out-of-work millionaires.

“So you would have to ask Nancy Pelosi why she and the other Democrats are providing these special breaks for wealthy millionaires when they claim to be for the hardworking middle class,” she said.

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.

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