About the Chairman
Iowans have placed their trust in Chuck Grassley to serve as one of Iowa’s U.S. Senators since 1981. By every measure, Senator Grassley works tirelessly to earn that trust.
With uncommon tenacity, Senator Grassley brings grit and integrity to the nation’s capital where he has developed a reputation for independence and relentless oversight to make the government work for the people it serves, not the other way around.
He authored the historic “Congressional Accountability Act” that required workplace laws to be applied to Congress and secured amendments to the “Affordable Care Act” to make the sweeping health care overhaul apply to members of Congress.
Senator Grassley has always put Iowans first.
He places a high priority on constituent services, helping Iowans to cut red tape and navigate federal services, from Social Security to veterans’ benefits. He holds the record for the longest consecutive voting streak of any senator in the history of the country. He has not missed a vote since 1993 when he returned home to survey historic flood damage. Senator Grassley has conducted at least one meeting in each of Iowa’s 99 counties every year since his public service began in the U.S. Senate. He says “dialogue is the essence of representative government” and that’s why he keeps his commitment to keep in touch with Iowans by every means available. He responds to every phone call, letter, and email from Iowans, and communicates extensively via social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, website) to connect directly with constituents. Senator Grassley also prioritizes accessibility with journalists as another vital means to communicate and hold himself and government accountable to Iowans.
Countless congressional hearings, policy debates and constituent feedback shape Senator Grassley’s expansive legislative expertise for Iowa’s benefit. For policies impacting health care, taxes, trade, transportation, agriculture, renewable energy, criminal justice, elder justice, foster care, illegal drugs, human trafficking, the federal budget, patent reform, education, national security and the federal judiciary, Chuck Grassley works to make a difference for Iowans.
As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Grassley understands the critical role Congress serves in our system of checks and balances. No matter which political party controls Congress or the White House, Senator Grassley conducts robust oversight of the federal bureaucracy and expects answers from the executive branch. He says transparency is an effective and crucial tool for holding government accountable.
Senator Grassley has been referred to as the patron saint of whistleblowers for his efforts to strengthen protections to help those who come forward to report wrongdoing. The Grassley amendments to the “False Claims Act” have been used effectively to recover more than $53 billion to the U.S. Treasury. His IRS whistleblower reforms have restored more than $3 billion to federal coffers. His guardianship of good government extends beyond dollars and cents. His work to support whistleblowers who shine light on waste, fraud and abuse has helped to expose misconduct and clean up wrongdoing at the FBI, the Secret Service, the Pentagon, the U.S. Marshals Service, the IRS, Veterans Affairs and more. Senator Grassley is co-chairman and co-founder of the bipartisan Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus that advocates for enforcement and expansion of whistleblower protection laws.
A lifelong family farmer, Senator Grassley brings a reality check to the policymaking tables when it comes to American agriculture. From the farm bill, to trade, taxes, energy, health care, bankruptcy and the federal regulatory regime, Senator Grassley is a fierce advocate for farmers and families who live and work in Rural America.
Iowa’s energy and economic landscape have benefited tremendously from federal renewable energy policies that Senator Grassley has worked to secure into law. Due in large measure to his advocacy and leadership, Iowa’s alternative energy portfolio has triggered tremendous investment in corn-based ethanol and next generation cellulosic ethanol, soy-diesel, wind energy and more.
Clean energy drives economic growth, job creation, broadens the tax base, adds value to crops and farmland and attracts new investment to Iowa for business and industry seeking affordable, clean energy. Iowa now produces more than one-third of its electricity from wind. That puts Iowa first in the nation to achieve this clean energy milestone.
Senator Grassley’s work as a good government watchdog benefits from a no-nonsense commitment to truth and transparency for the taxpaying public. He champions the public’s right to know and pushes for stronger Freedom of Information laws and supports independent inspectors general and legislation to allow cameras in federal courtrooms.
When he gets a whiff of potential wrongdoing, Senator Grassley sinks in his teeth and digs in his heels to get answers. For example, his work to ensure federal health programs effectively serve taxpayers, patients and providers includes his oversight of overpayments for widely prescribed pharmaceuticals including EpiPen, Dilaudid and Prilosec. Working to keep the spotlight shining on the misclassification of prescription drugs is fueled by the egregious overcharges on the taxpayers’ dime and his efforts to recoup reimbursement to taxpayers. From 2006 to 2016, taxpayers may have overpaid $1.27 billion for EpiPen alone. Many Iowans often share personal stories of financial hardship from sticker shock when they fill their prescription medicines. Senator Grassley is working to restore competition to help drive down prices with bipartisan legislation that would stop brand name pharmaceutical companies from engaging in deceptive agreements that prevent or delay lower-cost generics from entering the market.
Senator Grassley’s creed of ethics and accountability gives Iowans strong and effective leadership. He works to ensure the laws passed by Congress are faithfully executed and our system of checks and balances is functioning as the Founders intended. For example, he is working to reform foreign visa programs that have been misused, putting national security at risk and Americans out of work. As chairman of the Judiciary Committee, which has legislative and oversight authority of immigration policy, Senator Grassley keeps close tabs on the enforcement of immigration laws enacted to protect U.S. sovereignty and the safety of Americans. Following the death of Iowan Sarah Root, who was killed by a drunk driver living illegally in the country, Senator Grassley introduced legislation to strengthen enforcement and increase penalties for violators of U.S. immigration laws that result in the death of or serious injury to a U.S. citizen.
Using his key committee assignments to benefit Iowans, Senator Grassley works to lessen excessive regulatory and tax burdens that make it harder for families to get ahead and stay ahead. Our nation’s founders established a constitutional framework for economic freedom, innovation and opportunity to limit government’s role in society. His work on the Senate Budget and Finance committees is driven by an acute understanding that Washington can’t spend, tax and borrow America’s way to prosperity.
Chuck Grassley’s extraordinary work ethic is hardwired for public service and his determination to protect the blessings of freedom for all Americans to enjoy “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Senate Finance Committee Accomplishments
Tax Relief for Families and Job Creators: Hatch has been a leading proponent of tax relief for individuals, job creators, families, farmers, ranchers and investors. He co-authored H.R. 1, the largest tax overhaul in over three decades, that dramatically improves the United States international, businesses and individual sides of the tax code. These reforms will provide middle-class tax relief, make America more globally competitive, and lead to significant increased economic growth, meaning more jobs, higher wages and increased investment in the United States. In 2015, he co-authored the law that put in place permanent and responsible tax relief for more Americans, which helped pave the way for the broader, comprehensive overhaul.
Opening Markets to American Products: Hatch has long fought to increase opportunity through trade. He authored the law to put in place bipartisan, high standard Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) to help tear down international trade barriers for American workers, businesses and farmers. He continues to protect American intellectual property (IP) rights and ensure American workers and job creators have access to the tools they need to compete in the 21st century global market.
Prescription Drug Coverage for Seniors: Hatch helped develop legislation to provide a prescription drug benefit to seniors under Medicare, which was signed into law in 2003 and has provided millions of American seniors with solid prescription drug coverage.
Welfare Reform: Hatch was one of the lead architects of the landmark 1996 bipartisan welfare reform law. More than a decade and a half later, Hatch continues to fight for a robust reexamination of the program to help ensure less government dependence and more economic independence for Americans.
Fiscal Responsibility: Hatch played a key role in making the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 a reality. This legislation cut federal spending by nearly $40 billion and reformed government programs to make them more efficient. In 2015, Hatch fought to empower disabled workers by providing improvements to the administration of the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program – including preventing benefit cuts and shoring up the SSDI trust fund. This marked the biggest changes to the program in over 30 years.
Repealed & Delayed Obamacare’s Burdensome Taxes & Mandates: Hatch fought to repeal the 1099 tax reporting requirement in the 2010 health care law that would have been unmanageable to small businesses. As Chairman of Finance, he successfully spearheaded efforts in Congress to: fully repeal Obamacare’s individual mandate tax; suspend the law’s medical device and health insurance (HIT) taxes and delay the Cadillac tax. He continues to lead the fight to repeal the health care spending law in its entirety and replace it with patient-centered reforms that will lower costs and increase choice