Grassley ranks as ‘most effective lawmaker’ in U.S. Senate

WASHINGTON — Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, earned the top spot as the “most effective lawmaker” in the U.S. Senate for the 115th Congress, according to a nonpartisan analysis conducted by the Center for Effective Lawmaking.

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Senator Grassley is working as hard as ever to represent Iowans in the United States Senate. He is the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he leads the effort to reduce prescription drug prices, hold Big Tech accountable for unconstitutional censorship, protect the Second Amendment and hold the line on efforts to pack the U.S. Supreme Court. A taxpayer watchdog, Grassley fights wasteful spending and holds senior positions on the Senate Finance, Budget and Agriculture Committees, leveraging these influential platforms to champion issues affecting Rural America, from health care to renewable energy and agriculture. In January, Senator Grassley started his 41st consecutive year holding meetings with Iowans at least once every year in each of Iowa’s 99 counties. Thanks for your continued support. Keep in touch!

Grassley ranks as ‘most effective lawmaker’ in U.S. Senate

WASHINGTON — Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, earned the top spot as the “most effective lawmaker” in the U.S. Senate for the 115th Congress, according to a nonpartisan analysis conducted by the Center for Effective Lawmaking.

“Iowans expect their elected representatives to work hard and represent the interests of our great state here in the nation’s Capitol,” Grassley said. “Using my key committee assignments, I’m able to leverage my seniority and give Iowa a seat of influence at the policymaking tables. It’s an honor to serve and help make life better for hard-working Iowans.”

The analysis recognized Grassley’s expansive legislative portfolio, counting 73 bills he wrote to address a broad range of issues important to Iowans, including farm conservation and renewable energy, criminal and juvenile justice reform, prescription drug prices, student debt, foster care, drug addiction, mental health, school safety, rural health care, victims’ rights and veterans’ services.

“For the third time in his career, Senator Grassley has ranked as the most effective Senate lawmaker,” said Craig Volden, Ph.D., professor of public policy and politics, associate dean for academic affairs, University of Virginia and co-director of the Center for Effective Lawmaking. “As he moves to chair the Senate Finance Committee in the new Congress, the Center for Effective Lawmaking will be interested in watching how he translates his lawmaking skills to this new role.”

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WASHINGTON — Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, earned the top spot as the “most effective lawmaker” in the U.S. Senate for the 115th Congress, according to a nonpartisan analysis conducted by the Center for Effective Lawmaking.
Secretive pharmacy middlemen drive up Iowans’ drug costs

Iowa’s U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley again is turning his attention to exorbitant pharmaceutical prices.

Grassley this year has filed a series of bipartisan bills meant to give Americans access to cheaper drugs. He’s calling special attention to an industry of secretive middlemen in the pharmacy business.

Grassley and his fellow Republicans are firmly opposed to price-setting regulations, but they see a role for the federal government to play in ensuring transparency in the industry. Market forces are conspicuously absent in the health care industry, which conservative reformers say leads to higher prices and worse outcomes.

“The pricing supply chain needs a big dose of transparency to rein in anti-competitive shenanigans that cause sticker shock at the pharmacy counter,” Grassley wrote in a recent statement.

Pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, work between insurance companies and pharmaceutical manufacturers to negotiate drug prices. In theory, they are intended to keep drug prices down but in practice they might be responsible for driving up drug costs.

The companies, Grassley says, operate under “a web of secrecy.” They often arrange discounts in the form of rebates, but due to a lack of transparency in the system, some unknown portion of those savings are withheld by PBMs instead of being passed along to consumers. That gives them an incentive to keep prices high so they can reap bigger rebates.

Read the full article HERE.

Senator Chuck Grassley on Iowa Press

On this edition of Iowa Press, Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) discusses current and future legislation in the U.S. Senate.

Joining moderator David Yepsen at the Iowa Press table are Kay Henderson, news director for Radio Iowa, and Brianne Pfannenstiel, chief political reporter for The Des Moines Register.

Watch the full video HERE

Chuck Grassley is the 80-something everyone's waiting on

OSSIAN, Iowa — Chuck Grassley still gets up at 4 a.m. every day and often goes for a 2-mile run. The 87-year-old does push-ups, too.

“You want me to do 35 for you?” he responded when asked about his regimen as he waited for a burger at Bambino’s, a haunt in this town of about 800 people.

The challenge sounds like something out of the classic “Seinfeld” episode in which the elderly Mandelbaum family taunts Jerry to prove his physical prowess. But Grassley’s longevity is no joke. It could be the ticket to an eighth term in the Senate — and change the midterm landscape.

If Grassley does seek reelection, Republicans and many Democrats concede the seat is essentially safe. If he doesn’t, the GOP's road to the majority gets that much harder.

The most senior GOP senator says he’ll deliberateuntil the fall. He’s a conservative who can work with Democrats on a handful of issues, like criminal justice reform and drug prices, while executing brutal partisan power plays to fill the federal bench with conservatives. He’s held public office since 1959 and served in the Senate since 1981, including two years in the presidential line of succession.

Any Republican could retire and be proud of that kind of career. But Grassley might not be ready to call it quits.

“Listen, there’s nothing I see that’s going to keep me from serving another six years if I decide to do it,” he says during a swing through northeast Iowa as part of his annual 99 County Tour. “I just work from day to day. God will take care of tomorrow.”

And after five GOP retirements this cycle, Grassley is under pressure to save his party from defending yet another open seat as it labors to retake the majority.

“He’s getting a lot of encouragement,” said Senate Minority Whip John Thune. “He is the best path we have to keep the seat in Republican hands and take it off the map.”

Read the full article HERE

Packing the court strikes out independent judiciary

Former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt used his bully pulpit to try to pack the Supreme Court. He struck out, and in the 1938 midterm elections, his party lost 72 seats in the House of Representatives and seven seats in the Senate. As they say, history repeats itself.

Perhaps that’s why Speaker Nancy Pelosi poured cold water on the partisan bill introduced this week by House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler. When asked about the court-packing bill, Pelosi said, “I don’t know that it’s a good idea or a bad idea.”

President Joe Biden knows.

In 1983, then-Sen. Biden called FDR’s court-packing effort “a bonehead idea.” I agree with the 46th president. It is a bonehead idea to pack the court. It’s a pure power grab that would incinerate public trust in our institutions of government.

Having served on the Senate Judiciary Committee since 1981 and as chairman for four of those years, I’ve spent decades in the trenches of judicial-confirmation warfare. I’ve participated in 16 Supreme Court confirmations and more than a thousand more to fill vacancies in the nation’s lower courts.

Advice and consent by the Senate to serve lifetime appointments in the federal judiciary give the people a constitutional check on those selected to interpret the law of the land. Doing so while respecting the independence of the federal judiciary helps preserve public confidence in our institutions of government. The Supreme Court is the final word on matters affecting the lives and livelihoods of people, from healthcare to taxes, abortion, gun control, privacy, and voting laws.

Unfortunately, bare-knuckle politics took over the confirmation process in 1987, when partisans succeeded in sabotaging Judge Robert Bork’s nomination with a well-orchestrated slander campaign against him. Since then, “Borking” a nominee made its way into the political playbook. Four years later, people watched confirmation proceedings turn into daytime soap operas. Then-Judge Clarence Thomas unflinchingly defended his reputation, calling allegations made against him a “high-tech lynching.”

More recently, Senate confirmation hearings for Justice Brett Kavanaugh devolved into an unprecedented attempted character assassination of a nominee to the high court. As then-chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I refused to cave to the mob and carried out the committee’s responsibilities to vet the nominee thoroughly and fairly for a consequential lifetime appointment.

Read the full article here.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley: As I tour Iowa's 99 counties, our state's ingenuity is alive and well

For nearly 12 months and counting, COVID-19 has disrupted lives and livelihoods across America and the entire world. Here in Iowa, the breadbasket to the world, hardworking Iowans continue to do what we do best: get food from farm to fork, from one generation to the next.

As I continue my annual 99 county meetings, I’ve witnessed that no matter the setting or the audience, the economic wellbeing of Iowans is interconnected. A financial advisor in Waukee, a transportation logistics engineer in Ankeny and a soil scientist in Ames have a stake in Iowa’s farm economy. When Iowa farmers are doing well, local suppliers, lenders, landlords, Main Street businesses and the tax base are better off, as well.

It’s wonderful to see the next generation following our vocational calling to feed the world, teeming with Iowa ingenuity. Young leaders across our state wake up every morning to grow their idea into a prosperous business that meets consumer demand and puts wholesome food on our tables. Like the pioneers who cultivated Iowa’s agrarian heritage before them, they’re plowing ahead during a yearlong pandemic and the recent polar vortex.

Read the full article here.