Tag Archives: Chuck Grassley

Grassley tells ‘truth’ about ACA repeal effort

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said this about Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

“You know, I could maybe give you 10 reasons why this bill shouldn’t be considered … But Republicans campaigned on this so often that you have a responsibility to carry out what you said in the campaign. That’s pretty much as much of a reason as the substance of the bill.”

Well now …

The GOP rush to repeal and replace the ACA is meant to fulfill a campaign pledge. Does it not matter, then, what the Republican bill does? Or who it harms? Or whether it’s an actual improvement over the ACA?

The Senate Republican caucus is up against the wall on this one. It has until Sept. 30 to get this bill approved with just 50 Senate votes; a tie would bring in Vice President Mike Pence to cast the deciding vote. After that date, Senate rules roll back to a 60-vote supermajority requirement, which the Republicans don’t have.

I’m going to give Sen. Grassley kudos for candor, though. There’s been so little of it as it relates to this discussion. It’s rare to hear a leading U.S. lawmaker speak the truth about political motives.

Not that it makes it any better …

Imagine this breakfast chit-chat

grassley

U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley is going to have breakfast next Tuesday with Merrick Garland.

Yep, he’s going to break bread with the Supreme Court nominee whose nomination he intends to block.

I’m trying to imagine how this conversation will proceed. Here’s what I have come up with:

Grassley: Welcome, Judge. I’m glad you could find time to meet me for breakfast.

Garland: Thank you, Mr. Chair …

Grassley: Oh, call me Chuck.

Garland: Sure thing … Chuck. (laughter)

Grassley: Let’s get down to brass tacks. I don’t think the committee I chair should consider your nomination. In fact, I’m on board as saying that the next president should make the nomination. The current president is a lame duck, you know. This election could change everything.

Garland: I get that. But why are we meeting? I’ve read the papers. I know what you’ve said.

Grassley: I just wanted to get together so I could explain in detail …

Garland: Detail? What detail? You don’t support President Obama. You’ve never supported him. Look, he sought to pick someone who wouldn’t rock the court. He looked for a moderate judge. He found one. Me. My time on the D.C. Circuit Court has been the model of moderation.

Grassley: But the Supreme Court balance is, well, in the balance. Antonin Scalia was a stalwart conservative justice. We need to maintain that balance on the court.

Garland: Why the need? Didn’t a majority of voters re-elect Obama three years ago? Didn’t they do so knowing full well what kind of judge he’d appoint if given the chance. I mourn Scalia’s death, too. He was a brilliant jurist. He had a seriously rigid point of view. But I’m no slouch, either. I just don’t lean nearly as far to the left as Scalia did to the right. He could have picked a flaming lefty activist. I’m neither a lefty or an activist.

Grassley: I get that, Judge. You do understand that we on the committee are politicians, correct? We’ve got political interests. I happen to like my job as a senator from Iowa. I’ve been doing it for some time. I’d like to keep doing it. We’ve got this faction within our party that won’t tolerate compromise. It won’t tolerate me or any other of my Republican ilk from compromising with those Democrats.

Garland: So, you’re not going to allow the president, who has another nine months in office, to fulfill his duty because you’re getting pressure from constituent groups and political action organizations?

Grassley: I wouldn’t put it quite that way.

Garland: But that’s what it sounds like to me. You know what? I just lost my appetite. Thanks for the invitation, Chuck.

Grassley: Uh, judge? On second thought, you now may call me “Mr. Chairman.”

 

 

Congressman rewrites loser's text

An Iowa congressman running for a U.S. Senate seat in the Hawkeye State has just written a new chapter in the textbook explaining how one can blunder his way into a losing political campaign.

You denigrate your opponent’s history as and say that what Congress needs is another lawyer in its midst.

Rep. Bruce Braley is a Democratic congressman seeking to succeed incumbent Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley.

He was overheard telling this to some Texas trial lawyers at a Democratic Party fundraiser: “If you help me win this race, you may have someone with your background, your experience, your voice, someone who’s been literally fighting tort reform for 30 years, in a visible or public way, on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Or you might have a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school, never practiced law, serving as the next chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Because, if Democrats lose the majority, Chuck Grassley will be the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.”

Ouch!

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/senate-races/201882-braleys-farmer-from-iowa-remarks-could-spell-election-trouble

Granted, Braley’s remarks were targeted toward a specific constituency — like-minded lawyers who want one of their own in the Senate — but he apparently forgot how viral some of these statements can get when they’re overheard and sent out over that vast expanse called the Internet.

He apologized immediately to Grassley. I suspect the damage is done and it well might be irreparable.

Iowa has become an increasingly “purple” state that has voted Democratic in the past seven presidential elections. It has elected progressive senators, such as Tom Harkin, who is retiring from the Senate at the end of the year.

Bruce Braley wants to ascend to Harkin’s seat. He won’t get there if he suggests that farming is somehow less important than practicing law. Someone ought to show him all that cultivated land in his home state.