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Chuck Grassley

Assumed office 
January 3, 1981
Serving with Tom Harkin
Preceded by John Culver

In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2007
Preceded by Max Baucus
Succeeded by Max Baucus

In office
January 7, 1997 – January 3, 2001
Preceded by William Cohen
Succeeded by John B. Breaux
In office
January 20 – June 6, 2001
Preceded by John B. Breaux
Succeeded by John B. Breaux

In office
1975 – 1981
Preceded by H.R. Gross
Succeeded by T. Cooper Evans

In office
1959 – 1974

Born September 17, 1933 (1933-09-17) (age 76)
New Hartford, Iowa
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Barbara Grassley
Children Lee Grassley
Wendy Grassley
Robin Grassley
Michele Grassley
Jay Grassley
Residence New Hartford, Iowa
Alma mater University of Northern Iowa
Occupation politician
Religion Baptist

Charles Ernest "Chuck" Grassley (born September 17, 1933) is the senior United States Senator from Iowa. A moderate[1] to conservative[2] Republican, he has served in the Senate since 1981. From 1958 to 1974, he was an Iowa state legislator. Thereafter he served three terms as a member of the United States House of Representatives. He has twice held the chairmanship of the Finance Committee, from January to June 2001 and from January 2003 to December 2006; as of April 2009, he is the committee's ranking minority member.


Personal life

Grassley was born in New Hartford, Butler County, Iowa to Ruth Corwin and Louis Arthur Grassley,[3] 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. He also completed some doctoral studies in political science at the University of Iowa. Also during the 1950s, Grassley farmed and worked in factories, first as a sheet metal shearer and then as an assembly line worker. 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 Christian political organization that organizes the National Prayer Breakfast.[4]

Political career

Grassley represented parts of Butler County in the Iowa House of Representatives from 1959 until 1974, when he was elected to the United States House of Representatives, where he served three terms. He was elected to his Senate seat in 1980, defeating the Democratic incumbent, John Culver. Grassley was reelected in 1986, 1992, 1998, and 2004. As of August, 2009, he is 10th in seniority in the Senate.

Sen. Grassley along with Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), right, address the media after a meeting at the White House with President Bill Clinton. Rep. E. Clay Shaw (R-FL) in background.

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." [5]

Since 1976, Grassley has repeatedly introduced measures that increase the level of double 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.[6][7][8]

Grassley is against the use of medical marijuana; even in instances involving cancer or AIDS.[9]

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 much criticism he has not backed off of those comments, dismissing them as rhetoric.[10][11][12]

At an August 12, 2009, meeting in Iowa, Senator Grassley supported the claims by health care reform opponents that end-of-life counseling provisions in the House health care bill, H.R. 3200, amounted to government sponsored euthanasia. In response to an audience question about the provision, Grassley said people were right to fear that the government would "pull the plug on grandma." [13][14][15][16] 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."

Committee assignments

Environmental record

In 2005, Charles Grassley received a 7 percent rating on the Republicans for Environmental Protection's (REP) environmental scorecard. He voted in a manner inconsistent with what the REP considers pro-environment on 14 of 15 issues considered environmentally critical by the REP. He voted with REP on an amendment to the Energy Policy Act of 2005 proposed by Senator Jeff Bingaman to require at least 10% of electricity sold by utilities to originate from renewable resources. Issues in which Senator Grassley voted anti-environment are all other amendments to the Energy Policy Act proposed in 2005, the issue of authorizing drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge, and fuel economy standards for vehicles.

Senator Grassley received a 10 percent rating on the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) scorecard for his pro-environment votes on the issues of renewable energy and farm conservation programs.[17] These pro-environment votes, however, were balanced by his anti-environment votes on the energy conference report, global warming, natural gas facilities, undermining fuel economy, increasing fuel economy, and various other issues.

In 2006, Grassley received a 0 percent rating from the REP[18] and a 14 percent rating from the LCV[17]. According to these organizations, he voted pro-environment on the issue of energy and weatherization assistance, and voted anti-environment on drilling, environmental funding, peer review, renewable resources, and The Gulf of Mexico Security Act.

Veterans record

Senator Grassley has the third-worst voting record in the entire US Congress (both House and Senate combined) on veterans issues, according to the Disabled American Veterans, earning a 40 rating. Only 2 senators, both Republicans, have lower ratings.[19]

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."[20].

Other scorecard ratings

Senator Grassley has a 100 percent rating from the National Right to Life Committee [21], 84 percent rating from the American Conservative Union [22], 100 percent rating from the Family Research Council [23], and 100 percent rating from Eagle Forum [24].

As of March 2007, Grassley's Power Ranking was 35.27, down from 78.5 only 2 years earlier.[25] A late September 2009 poll shows Grassley with a popularity rating in Iowa of 50% approving of his job, and 40% disapproving.[26]


Grassley has campaigned to increase protection and provide support for "Whistleblowers". He has supported a number of FBI whistle blowers, including Coleen Rowley, Michael German, and Jane Turner. Grassley received a lifetime achievement award on May 17, 2007 from the National Whistleblower Center.

Tax-exempt religious organizations probe

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.[27] 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.[28] 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.[29]

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 probes

Grassley also began an investigation about unreported payments to physicians by pharmaceutical companies. 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.[30] 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.[31] 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).[32] 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.[33]

2010 election

Democratic challenger Bob Krause is a former state legislator, Army veteran and transportation official. Krause has said that Grassley's more than half-century in public office is too long. "As a good farmer, Sen. Grassley must recognize that 51 years, or 58 years at the end of his term, is a long time to go without rotating crops," Krause told about 50 supporters in Des Moines.[34] Krause cited Grassley's support in 1999 for legislation that allowed banks and insurance companies to begin offering other investment products. "Please remember that Farmer Grassley was one that opened the barn door and let the cow out at AIG," Krause said.[34]

Grassley may also face a primary challenge, with some conservatives saying he has drifted "too far to the left".[35] 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.[36]

Other awards

In 2009, Grassley received the "Health Policy Hero" award from the National Research Center for Women & Families[37] for his 2004 oversight of legislative reforms and accountability of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).[38]

Electoral history

United States Senate election in Iowa, 2004

Chuck Grassley (R) (inc.) 70.1%
Arthur Small (D) 27.9%
Christy Welty (Lib.) 1%
Daryl Northrop (Green) 0.8%
Edwin Fruit (Socialist Workers) 0.1%

1998 Iowa United States Senatorial Election

Chuck Grassley (R) (inc.) 68.4%
David Osterberg (D) 30.5%
Susan Marcus (Natural Law) 0.8%
Margaret Trowe (Socialist Workers) 0.3%

1992 Iowa United States Senatorial Election

Chuck Grassley (R) (inc.) 69.6%
Jean Lloyd-Jones (D) 27.2%
Stuart Zimmerman (Natural Law) 1.3%
Sue Atkinson (I) 0.5%
Mel Boring (I) 0.4%
Rosanne Freeburg (I) 0.4%
Carl Eric Olsen (Grassroots) 0.3%
Richard O'Dell Hughes (I) 0.2%
Cleve Andrew Pulley (Socialist Workers) 0.1%

1986 Iowa United States Senatorial Election

Chuck Grassley (R) (inc.) 66%
John P. Roehrick (D) 34%

1980 Iowa United States Senatorial Election

Chuck Grassley (R) 53.5%
John Culver (D) (inc.) 45.5%

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%


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ 1
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Dead farmers got subsidies". The Seattle Times. 2007-07-24. Retrieved 2007-07-24.  
  6. ^ Americans Living Abroad Get a Nasty Tax Surprise - New York Times
  7. ^ Americans abroad face higher U.S. tax bills - International Herald Tribune
  8. ^ ACA frame linker
  9. ^
  10. ^ Follow the 'Japanese example'
  11. ^ Grassley dismisses suicide talk as rhetoric
  12. ^ A.I.G. Must Take Its Medicine
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ a b League of Conservation Voters
  18. ^ Republicans for Environmental Protection 2006 Scorecard
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ [1] - Power Rankings 2008
  26. ^
  27. ^ "Read Grassley's Letters",, December 04, 2007. Retrieved on December 10, 2007.
  28. ^ :: ref> "Televangelists Living Like Kings?", CBS News, November 6, 2007. Retrieved on September 17, 2007.
  29. ^ "Grassley, Baucus Urge Four Ministries to Cooperate", Planned Giving Design Center, March 12, 2008. Retrieved on February 4, 2009.
  30. ^ "Researchers Fail to Reveal Full Drug Pay" The New York Times, June 8, 2008.
  31. ^ "Drug Makers and College Labs: Too Cozy?" Business Week, June 26, 2008.
  32. ^ "Stanford Researcher, Accused of Conflicts, Steps Down as NIH Principal Investigator" The Chronicle of Higher Education, August 1, 2008.
  33. ^ "Doctor Accused in Congress' Probe" The Los Angeles Times, October 4, 2008.
  34. ^ a b Thomas Beaumont (March 29, 2009). "Democrat says Grassley has been in Senate too long". KCCI.  
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^ Grassley recognized for work to increase accountability in health care system WASHINGTON 05-08-2009

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
H.R. Gross
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Iowa's 3rd congressional district

1975 – 1981
Succeeded by
T. Cooper Evans
United States Senate
Preceded by
John Culver
United States Senator (Class 3) from Iowa
1981 – present
Served alongside: Roger Jepsen, Tom Harkin
Political offices
Preceded by
William Cohen
Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee
1997 – 2001
Succeeded by
John Breaux
Preceded by
Max Baucus
Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee
2003 – 2007
Succeeded by
Max Baucus
United States order of precedence
Preceded by
Christopher Dodd
United States Senators by seniority
Succeeded by
Arlen Specter


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Charles Ernest "Chuck" Grassley (born 1933-09-17) is the senior United States Senator from Iowa. He is a member of the Republican Party and has served in the Senate since 1981. He was chairman of the Finance Committee from January to June 2001 and from January 2003 to December 2006; currently, he is the committee's Ranking Member.


  • Unfortunately, throughout the housing crisis we’ve seen innocent homeowners who have been victims of shady mortgage lenders and unscrupulous individuals who have used a down market to line their own pockets at the expense of others. This bill is designed to send a message by revising our laws to ensure criminals are brought to justice and that law enforcement has the tools to uncover these fraudulent schemes and go after the bad actors. Criminals should be put on notice that ripping off homeowners and taxpayers won’t be tolerated.

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