Tuesday, House Democrats blocked Congresswoman Ashley Hinson’s attempt to pass legislation to guarantee money already passed by congress was prioritized to meet the expenses of reopening schools for in-person learning.

Hinson, who represents Iowa’s first congressional district, saw her Reopen Schools Act (H.R. 682) blocked by 219 Democrats by advancing the previous question. Iowa’s Third District Congresswoman Cindy Axne voted with the other House Democrats to kill the effort.

According to a House Republican Spokesperson, Congress provided an additional $54.3B for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief fund in the December COVID Relief package. However, today that funding remains largely unspent.

Selections from Hinson’s Remarks on the House Floor:

“Students have been out of the classroom for far too long—and the costs of at home learning are far greater than we could have ever imagined, especially when it comes to mental health of our kids.

“My bill, the Reopen Schools Act, would prioritize state COVID relief grants for schools that are reopening.

“It would require schools to offer at least partial in-person learning in order to receive these federal pandemic relief funds – these funds that were intended to help students get back in the classroom safely; taking important precautions.

“Congress sent states this money so we could reopen schools safely, and yet this hasn’t happened in so many communities across our country. …Kids need to be in school. We can get them back behind a desk instead of a screen, and we can do so safely.”

Iowa FIeld Report reached out to Rep. Hinson’s office about the matter; they provided the following comment.

“It’s ridiculous that Democrats wouldn’t even consider this legislation— doing the right thing for students shouldn’t be a partisan issue.”