Chuck Grassley Wikipedia

Chuck Grassley
Sen Chuck Grassley official.jpg
United States Senator

from Iowa
Assumed office

January 3, 1981

Serving with Tom Harkin
Preceded byJohn Culver
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance
In office

January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2007
Preceded byMax Baucus
Succeeded byMax Baucus
Chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging
In office

January 7, 1997 – January 3, 2001
Preceded byWilliam Cohen
Succeeded byJohn B. Breaux
In office

January 20, 2001 – June 6, 2001
Preceded byJohn B. Breaux
Succeeded byJohn B. Breaux
Member of the

U.S. House of Representatives

from Iowa's 3rd district
In office

January 3, 1975 – January 3, 1981
Preceded byH.R. Gross
Succeeded byT. Cooper Evans
Member of the

Iowa House of Representatives
In office

January 12, 1959 – January 12, 1975
Personal details
BornCharles Ernest Grassley

(1933-09-17) September 17, 1933 (age 80)

New Hartford, Iowa
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Barbara Grassley
ChildrenLee Grassley

Wendy Grassley

Robin Grassley

Michele Grassley

Jay Grassley
ResidenceNew Hartford, Iowa
Alma materUniversity of Northern Iowa (B.A., M.A.)
ReligionBaptist – BGC
Charles Ernest "Chuck" Grassley (born September 17, 1933) is the senior United States Senator from Iowa, serving since 1981. A member of the Republican Party, he previously served in the United States House of Representatives (1975–1981) and the Iowa state legislature (1959–1974). He was chairman of the Senate Finance Committee from January to June 2001 and from January 2003 to December 2006. He is currently the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee.


          Early life, education and career

          Grassley was born in New Hartford, Iowa, the son of Ruth (née Corwin) and Louis Arthur Grassley, and graduated from the town high school. At Iowa State Teachers College (now the University of Northern Iowa), he earned a B.A. in 1955 and an M.A. in 1956. During his time as a student, Grassley joined the social-professional Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity. Also during the 1950s, Grassley farmed and worked in factories, first as a sheet metal shearer and then as an assembly line worker. He studied toward a Ph.D. in political science at the University of Iowa. In 1967–1968 Grassley taught at the now-defunct Charles City College.

          Iowa House of Representatives

          Grassley represented parts of Butler County in the Iowa House of Representatives from 1959 until 1975.

          U.S. House of Representatives

          Grassley served in the United States House of Representatives from 1975 to 1981.

          U.S. Senate

          Committee assignments

          • Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry
            • Subcommittee on Rural Revitalization, Conservation, Forestry and Credit
            • Subcommittee on Energy, Science and Technology
            • Subcommittee on Production, Income Protection and Price Support
          • Committee on Finance
            • Subcommittee on Health Care
            • Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure
            • Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness
          • Committee on the Judiciary (Ranking Minority Member)
            • Subcommittee on Bankruptcy and the Courts
            • Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights
            • Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security
            • As Ranking Minority Member of the full committee, Sen. Grassley may serve as an ex officio member of all subcommittees of which he is not already a voting member.
          • Committee on the Budget
          • Caucus on International Narcotics Control (Co-Chairman)
          • Joint Committee on Taxation

          Grassley during his time in the US House of Representatives


          As a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, Grassley has spearheaded many probes into the misuse and accountability of federal money. In July 2007, a Grassley-commissioned report was released claiming that more than US$1 billion in farm subsidies were sent to deceased individuals. Grassley said: "It's unconscionable that the Department of Agriculture would think that a dead person was actively engaged in the business of farming."

          On June 28, 2006, Grassley proposed legislation intended to curb sex trafficking and sex slavery in the United States by means of strict enforcement of tax laws, for example by requiring a W-2 form be filed for each prostitute managed by a pimp or other employer.

          Sen. Grassley, Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), and Rep. E. Clay Shaw (R-FL) (left to right) address the media after a meeting at the White House with President Bill Clinton.
          Since 1976, Grassley has repeatedly introduced measures that increase the level of taxation on American citizens living abroad, including retroactive tax hikes. Grassley was eventually able to attach an amendment to a piece of legislation that went into effect in 2006, which increased taxes on Americans abroad by targeting housing and living incentives paid by foreign employers and held them accountable for federal taxes, even though they did not currently reside in the United States. Critics of the amendment felt that the move hurt Americans competing for jobs abroad by putting an unnecessary tax burden on foreign employers. Others felt that the move was only to offset the revenue deficit caused by domestic tax cuts of the Bush Administration.

          In March 2009, amid the scandal involving various AIG executives receiving large salary bonuses from the taxpayer-funded bailout of the corporate giant, Grassley sparked controversy by suggesting that those AIG employees receiving large bonuses should follow the so-called 'Japanese example', resign immediately or commit suicide. After some criticism, he dismissed the comments as rhetoric.

          In May 2009, Grassley cosponsored a resolution to amend the US Constitution to prohibit flag-burning, stating the flag is "...the symbol our men and women in uniform have fought for over 200 years. [sic]"

          When President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party proposed a health reform bill featuring mandated health insurance, Grassley opposed the health insurance mandate, saying that it was a deal breaker. In response to an audience question at an August 12, 2009, meeting in Iowa, about the end-of-life counseling provisions in the House health care bill, H.R. 3200, Grassley said people were right to fear that the government would "pull the plug on grandma." Grassley had previously supported covering end-of-life counseling, having voted for the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, which stated: "The covered services are: evaluating the beneficiary's need for pain and symptom management, including the individual's need for hospice care; counseling the beneficiary with respect to end-of-life issues and care options, and advising the beneficiary regarding advanced care planning." In December 2009, Grassley voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly called ObamaCare or the Affordable Care Act).

          Grassley opposed the Manchin-Toomey gun control amendment, and instead proposed alternative legislation to increase prosecutions of gun violence and increase reporting of mental health data in background checks.

          As of December 2013, Grassley has cast 6,806 consecutive roll call votes, placing him second behind the all-time consecutive vote record holder, Senator William Proxmire (D-Wis). Grassley has not missed a roll call vote since 1993, when he was touring Iowa with President Bill Clinton to survey flood damage. He has, as of July 2012, cast almost 11,000 votes and had at that time only missed 35 votes in his Senate career.

          Political positions

          Unbalanced scales.svg
          The neutrality of this article is disputed. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please do not remove this message until the dispute is resolved. (February 2012)
          In 2006, Grassley received a 14 percent rating from the LCV. In 2009, Senator Grassley received a 10 percent rating on the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) scorecard. The League approved of his votes on the issues of renewable energy and farm conservation programs. but disapproved of his votes on the energy conference report, global warming, natural gas facilities, increasing fuel economy, and various other issues.[citation needed]

          Grassley has been described in newswires as a "bulldog supporter" of biofuels such as ethanol. Grassley has opposed conservative Senators like Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Jim DeMint (R-SC) for wanting to bring an end to ethanol subsidies.

          Grassley was given the American Legion's distinguished public service award for his support of a "strong national defense, service members, veterans and the American flag", primarily due to his support for a flag protection amendment.

          Senator Grassley has 100 percent ratings from the National Right to Life Committee, Eagle Forum, and Family Research Council, an 84 percent rating from the American Conservative Union, and a 20 percent rating from the Human Rights Campaign.

          The author of the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989, Grassley has campaigned to increase protection and provide support for "whistleblowers". He has supported a number of FBI whistleblowers, including Coleen Rowley, Michael German, and Jane Turner. Grassley received a lifetime achievement award on May 17, 2007 from the National Whistleblower Center. In April 2014, Grassley announced plans to create a caucus in the Senate dedicated to strengthening whistleblower protections.


          Religious organizations

          On November 5, 2007, Grassley announced an investigation into the tax-exempt status of six ministries under the leadership of Benny Hinn, Paula White, Eddie L. Long, Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, and Kenneth Copeland by the United States Senate Committee on Finance. In letters to each ministry, Grassley asked for the ministries to divulge specific financial information to the committee to determine whether or not funds collected by each organization were inappropriately utilized by ministry heads. By the December 6, 2007 deadline, only three of the ministries had shown compliance with the Finance Committee's request. On March 11, 2008, Grassley and Finance Chairman Max Baucus sent follow-up letters to Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar and Eddie Long, explaining that the Senate reserved the right to investigate the finances of their organizations under federal tax laws.

          Responses from these Ministers included Constitutional arguments about Congressional power to oversee such matters. They claim that only the IRS has the authority to request such information, and should the IRS request it or pursue an investigation, the ministries involved would gladly comply.

          Medical research

          Grassley also began an investigation about unreported payments to physicians by pharmaceutical companies. Grassley led a 2008 Congressional Investigation which found that well-known university psychiatrists, who had promoted psychoactive drugs, had violated federal and university regulations by secretly receiving large sums of money from the pharmaceutical companies which made the drugs. The New York Times reported that Dr. Joseph Biederman of Harvard University had failed to report over a million dollars of income that he had received from pharmaceutical companies. Weeks later, Business Week reported that Grassley alleged that Alan Schatzberg, chair of psychiatry at Stanford University, had underreported his investments in Corcept Therapeutics, a company he founded. Dr. Schatzberg had reported only $100,000 investments in Corcept, but Grassley stated that his investments actually totalled over $6 million. Dr. Schaztberg later stepped down from his grant which is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Similarly, Dr. Charles Nemeroff resigned as chair of the psychiatry department at Emory University after failing to report a third of the $2.8 million in consulting fees he received from GlaxoSmithKline. At the time he received these fees, Dr. Nemeroff had been principal investigator of a $3.9 million NIH grant evaluating five medications for depression manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline.

          In 2008, for the first time, Grassley asked the American Psychiatric Association to disclose how much of its annual budget came from drug industry funds. The APA said that industry contributed 28% of its budget ($14 million at that time), mainly through paid advertising in APA journals and funds for continuing medical education.

          Political campaigns

          Grassley was elected to his Senate seat in 1980, defeating the Democratic incumbent, John Culver. He was reelected in 1986, 1992, 1998, 2004, and 2010; he is the second-longest serving Senator in Iowa history. He has remained very popular in Iowa even as the state trended Democratic. In 1992, for instance, he won a third term with 69 percent of the vote even as Bill Clinton carried the state in the presidential election.


          Main article: United States Senate election in Iowa, 2010
          Grassley sought a sixth term in the 2010 election. He was challenged by Democrat Roxanne Conlin, a former U.S. Attorney, and Libertarian John Heiderscheit, an attorney.

          Grassley was unopposed in the Republican primary, although some conservatives said he has drifted "too far to the left". Among those is conservative activist Bill Salier, who said "Grassley was the dominant force and had an enormous amount of loyalty. That has so eroded out from underneath him" during an interview on WHO-AM radio.

          Grassley was reelected with 64.5% of the vote, Roxanne Conlin getting 33.2% of the vote. He carried every county in the state except Johnson County. He is only the second Iowan to serve six terms in the Senate; the other being Iowa's longest-serving Senator, William B. Allison.


          According to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, the industries that have been the largest contributors to Grassley during his political career are health professionals ($1 million in contributions), insurance industry ($997,674), lawyers/law firms ($625,543) and pharmaceuticals/health products ($538,680). His largest corporate donors have been Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance, Amgen biotech company and Wells Fargo bank.

          Electoral history

          United States Senate election in Iowa, 2010
          RepublicanChuck Grassley (inc.)718,21564.35%-5.83%
          DemocraticRoxanne Conlin371,68633.30%+5.43%
          LibertarianJohn Heiderscheit25,2902.27%
          Republican holdSwing
          United States Senate election in Iowa, 2004
          RepublicanChuck Grassley (inc.)1,038,17570.18%+1.77%
          DemocraticArt Small412,36527.88%-2.62%
          LibertarianChristy Ann Welty15,2181.03%
          GreenDaryl A. Northrop11,1210.75%
          Socialist WorkersEdwin Fruit1,8740.13%-0.14%
          Republican holdSwing
          United States Senate election in Iowa, 1998
          RepublicanChuck Grassley (inc.)648,48068.41%-1.20%
          DemocraticDavid Osterberg289,04930.49%+3.29%
          Natural LawSusan Marcus7,5610.80%-0.47%
          Socialist WorkersMargaret Trowe2,5420.27%+0.16%
          Republican holdSwing
          United States Senate election in Iowa, 1992
          RepublicanChuck Grassley (inc.)899,76169.61%+3.58%
          DemocraticJean Lloyd-Jones351,56127.20%-6.37%
          Natural LawStuart Zimmerman16,4031.27%
          IndependentSue Atkinson6,2770.49%
          IndependentMel Boring5,5080.43%
          IndependentRosanne Freeburg4,9990.39%
          GrassrootsCarl Eric Olsen3,4040.26%
          IndependentRichard O'Dell Hughes2,9180.23%
          Socialist WorkersCleve Andrew Pulley1,3700.11%
          Republican holdSwing
          United States Senate election in Iowa, 1986
          RepublicanChuck Grassley (inc.)588,88066.04%+12.55%
          DemocraticJohn P. Roehrick299,40633.57%-11.97%
          IndependentJohn Masters3,3700.38%
          Republican holdSwing
          United States Senate election in Iowa, 1980
          RepublicanChuck Grassley683,01453.49%+4.21%
          DemocraticJohn Culver (inc.)581,54545.54%-4.48%
          IndependentGarry De Young5,8580.46%
          LibertarianRobert V. Hengerer4,2330.33%
          IndependentJohn Ingram Henderson2,3360.18%
          Republican gain from DemocraticSwing
          1978 Iowa 3rd District United States Congressional Election
          Chuck Grassley (R) (inc.) 74.8%
          John Knudson (D) 25.2%
          1976 Iowa 3rd District United States Congressional Election
          Chuck Grassley (R) (inc.) 56%
          Stephen Rapp 44%
          1974 Iowa 3rd District United States Congressional Election
          Chuck Grassley (R) 50.8%
          Stephen Rapp (D) 49.2%

          Personal life

          Grassley married Barbara Ann Speicher in September 1954; the couple have five children: Lee, Wendy, Robin, Michele, and Jay. Grassley is a member of The Family, the tax-exempt quasi-Christian political organization that organizes the National Prayer Breakfast.


          In 2009, Grassley received the "Health Policy Hero" award from the National Research Center for Women & Families for his 2004 oversight of legislative reforms and accountability of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Grassley was also named the hardest working member of Congress by The Hill newspaper in June 2010, tied with Max Baucus.

          Source: Wikipedia ( )
          Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License
          Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization.

          Latest Chuck Grassley News