Senator Grassley's Votes in 111th Congress Show His Support for Economic Growth and Job Creation

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 27, 2011 - U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) received the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Award for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence today in recognition of his consistent support of manufacturers and their employees across the United States. The Award was presented at an event sponsored by NAM member Vermeer Corporation at its facility in Pella, Iowa.

Members of Congress who maintained a voting record of 70 percent or higher during the 111th Congress (2009-2010) received the Award. Senator Grassley received a 77-percent key vote rating.

"On behalf of Vermeer Corporation and our employees, I thank Senator Grassley for championing the causes that will help manufacturers thrive in Iowa and across the United States," said Vermeer President and CEO Mary Andringa. "We're fortunate to have Senator Grassley supporting the efforts of Iowa manufacturers, advocating policies that will enable us to grow, create jobs, expand internationally and stay ahead of our global competition."

"Senator Grassley supports common-sense policies that will enable manufacturers to create and maintain good high-paying jobs in Iowa and throughout America," said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons.  "A vibrant manufacturing base is vital to getting our economy turned around and ensuring quality of life for all Americans. It is critical to have lawmakers like Senator Grassley whose actions consistently match their words when it comes to a pro-manufacturing agenda for economic growth and job creation."

Each key vote was selected by an NAM member-led advisory committee comprised of executives from small, mid-sized and large manufacturing companies. Members of Congress are notified in advance when key votes are pending and why the key vote designation has been made.

Key manufacturing votes for the 111th Congress included energy policy, taxes, regulations and labor law reform, among others. These policies are important components of the NAM's "Manufacturing Strategy for Jobs and a Competitive America," a comprehensive plan for supporting jobs and the U.S. economy. You can view the Strategy at

"The Award is a non-partisan indicator to help manufacturers and their employees sort out the true allies of manufacturing based on their votes on key issues that affect the manufacturing economy, jobs and U.S. competitiveness," Timmons noted.

Voting records for all members of Congress are available at along with further details about NAM Key Manufacturing Votes.

The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states.  Manufacturing has a presence in every single congressional district providing good, high-paying jobs.  For more information about the Manufacturers or to follow us on Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit


Thursday, April 21, 2011 

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa is concerned that banks will use taxpayer money from the Small Business Lending Fund to repay their loans under the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP.  Last month, he sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, asking for detailed information on the department's oversight plan for the Small Business Lending Fund and information on TARP recipients that have applied for Small Business Lending Fund money.   Last year, Grassley exposed the misleading nature of a General Motors and Treasury Department public relations effort over how General Motors had repaid its government loan.  Today, Grassley released the Treasury secretary's response to his inquiry on the Small Business Lending Fund and made the following comment on the response.

"This response confirms what I was afraid of.  It's okay with Treasury if banks use their small business lending funds to repay TARP because supposedly TARP already has made a profit.  That's not how the small business program was sold to the public.  This was supposed to get small businesses back on their feet and create jobs.  It sure seems like small businesses are getting left out again.  So far, this fund might only have created jobs for the banks shuffling public money around.  Well, we've been there, done that, and that approach has been rejected by the grass roots.

"Beyond that, it's disappointing that Treasury won't disclose the names of banks applying for these loans.  These banks are applying for tax dollars.  There's no reason why their names should be kept secret from the public.  And the Treasury Department doesn't name a single step to prevent waste, fraud and abuse in this $30 billion program.  From this response, it seems the Treasury Department is content to give the money out and let the inspector general and GAO try to police any abuse on the back end.  As we've learned with TARP and the stimulus program, especially in the weatherization program, it's nearly impossible to recoup wasted money after the fact."

Friday, April 15, 2011

WASHINGTON - In anticipation of the upcoming debate to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, known in its current form as No Child Left Behind, Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania introduced legislation last night which would make sure that federal education policy no longer overlooks the needs of high-ability students.

The new proposal is called the TALENT Act, or the To Aid Gifted and High-Ability Learners by Empowering the Nation's Teachers Act.

The senators said the provisions in their bill, S.857, are designed to correct the lack of focus on high-ability students, especially those students in underserved settings, including rural communities, by including them in the school, district, and state planning process that already exists under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.  The bill would raise the expectation that teachers have the skills to address the special learning needs of various populations of students, including gifted and high-ability learners.  It would provide for professional development grants to help general education teachers and other school personnel better understand how to recognize and respond to the needs of high-ability students.

The legislation also retools and builds upon the goals and purpose of the existing Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act so that education policy makers would continue to explore and test strategies to identify and serve high-ability students from underserved groups.  The senators said that these strategies should then be put into the hands of teachers across the country.

"America can no longer afford to ignore the needs of our brightest students and, by doing so, squander their potential.  Our legislation would make the modifications needed to federal education policy to develop and encourage the high achievement that's possible for so many gifted and talented students and, in turn, enhance the future prosperity of our nation," Grassley said.

"We must train our teachers to identify and encourage gifted and high-ability learners, particularly in underserved communities," said Casey.  "The potential of our children must be maximized for their sake and for the sake of our long-term economic growth."

Casey serves on the Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions Committee, which is currently working through a bipartisan committee process to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Grassley has been a leading advocate in Congress for gifted and talented children.  Among other efforts, he sponsored legislation that became part of the original No Child Left Behind Act to expand the availability of gifted education services.

WASHINGTON - Senator Chuck Grassley recently met with Elaine and Bob Bartel, of Eldridge, during their visit to Washington, D.C.  The Bartels were in Washington to visit their daughter, Christine Bartel, who formerly worked for Grassley and now works in the State of Iowa's Washington office.

Grassley and the visitors discussed the family's missionary work in Africa and issues under consideration by Congress.

"I'm glad that I got to talk with the Bartels while they were in Washington," Grassley said.  "This kind of dialogue, between elected representatives and the people we represent, is essential to making the process of representative government work."

Grassley makes it a priority to sit down with Iowans when they're in Washington.  In addition, in Iowa, he has conducted at least one constituent meeting in every one of Iowa's 99 counties every year since he was first elected to the Senate in 1980.  He also responds to every constituent letter, email and phone call.  Grassley communicates with Iowans on facebook, twitter and at, and he is a regular guest on public affairs programs statewide, where he responds to questions from Iowans.

Meetings can be scheduled with Grassley at  Click on Info for Iowans and select Scheduling Requests.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011 

Senator Chuck Grassley released the following comment after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) formally exempted milk and milk product containers from the Oil Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure Rule that is intended to prevent oil from discharging into U.S. waterways.  Grassley was a cosponsor of legislation to expedite a decision by the EPA to exempt milk containers from regulations initially intended for oil spills.

Grassley is also leading an effort to keep the EPA from placing further economic pressure on rural America if the agency chooses to impose more stringent regulations on dust. Here is Grassley's comment on the milk exemption.

"Dairy producers across the country are breathing a sigh of relief.  In an already difficult economic environment, this attempt by the EPA to apply burdensome and unnecessary regulations would have put many of these hard working dairy farmers in an extremely precarious position, and could easily have increased prices for consumers at the grocery store.  To think that milk would be treated the same as oil defies common sense.  The agency seems oblivious to the tremendous impact its rules and regulations have on the general public and agriculture in particular.  I appreciate EPA finally getting the job done and doing the right thing in this instance.  I hope this is a sign that common sense won't take a back seat to ideology in the future."

Grassley, Wyden Introduce Bill Making Medicare Claims Data Public

WASHINGTON - April 7, 2011 - Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon today introduced legislation to make Medicare claims data public for the first time.  The legislation is the product of the senators' combined efforts - each was working on a method of making the data public and combined approaches in the bipartisan legislation introduced today.

"Medicare is a $500 billion program with billions of dollars going out in error each year," Grassley said.  "The bad actors are getting bigger and bolder all the time.  They 're able to stay out of law enforcement's reach too often.  It's time to try new things.  More transparency about billing and payments increases public understanding of where tax dollars go.  The bad actors might be dissuaded if they knew their actions were subject to the light of day."

"Hiding information on how taxpayer dollars are being spent is not something we do in this country," Wyden said.  "Moreover, if taxpayer dollars are being spent responsibly there is no reason to hide.  Shedding light on Medicare claims will be helpful to those making medical decisions, offer insight into how Medicare dollars are being spent and prevent wasteful spending and fraud.   All of which begs the question 'why isn't this information already available?'"

Last month, Grassley introduced legislation requiring the Department of Health and Human Services to make Medicare claims and payment data available to the public in a manner similar to other federal spending disclosed on

Wyden was developing an approach to make the data public through the federal Freedom of Information Act.

The joint bill, called the Medicare Data Access for Transparency and Accountability Act (Medicare DATA Act), contains both elements.  The bill would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to issue regulations to make available a searchable Medicare payment database that the public can access at no cost.  The bill also clarifies that data on Medicare payments to physicians and suppliers do not fall under a Freedom of Information Act exemption.

Grassley and Wyden said health care fraud remains a pervasive problem in federal health care programs.  It has been widely agreed that between 5 percent to 8 percent of federal health care expenditures is lost to fraud.

In a recent series, The Wall Street Journal used limited access to Medicare billing data to identify suspicious billing patterns and potential abuses of the Medicare system. The Wall Street Journal found cases where Medicare paid millions to a physician, sometimes for several years, before those questionable payments stopped.  While volume alone doesn't automatically mean there's fraud, waste, or abuse, accountability and transparency are powerful preventive tools, Grassley and Wyden said.

Grassley and Wyden serve together on the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over Medicare.  Grassley is a senior member and former chairman and ranking member.  Toward the cause of transparency and good government, Grassley and Wyden earlier this year achieved success in their long-time effort to end the Senate practice of placing "secret" holds on legislation.

The text of their legislation introduced today is available here.  Grassley's statement on the bill introduction is available here.


Prepared Floor Statement of U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley

Opposition to Coburn Amendment

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mr. President, I'd like to express my strong opposition to amendment #220 offered by Senator Coburn.  Senator Coburn's amendment would raise the tax on domestic energy production by repealing an incentive for the use of homegrown ethanol.

I'm astonished that given our current situation, there are some who would prefer less domestic energy production.  With conflicts in the Middle East and crude oil more than $100 a barrel, we should be on the same side.  We should all be on the side of more domestically produced energy.  The tremendous cost of America's dependence on foreign oil has never been more clear.

In light of this threat, we should have an energy policy of "all of the above."  I support drilling here, and drilling now.  I support renewable energy.  I support conservation.  And, I support nuclear energy.  It's counterproductive for senators from Big Oil country to single out energy that comes from American agriculture.  I didn't pick this fight.  I support energy from all sources.  I support traditional oil and gas.  And so do American taxpayers with tax incentives, for an industry that's 100 years old.

So, the attack on homegrown energy is really remarkable.  We shouldn't be fighting each other over domestic energy sources.  We should be fighting OPEC and foreign dictators and oil sheiks that hold our economy hostage.

The author of the amendment has argued that the production of clean, homegrown ethanol is fiscally irresponsible.  It's important to remember that the incentive exists to help the producers of ethanol compete with the oil industry.  And remember, the oil industry has been well supported by the federal treasury for more than a century.  President Obama, in his budget request for 2012, has advocated repealing a dozen or so subsidies to big oil.  He's argued that a century-old industry no longer needs tax breaks.  With oil prices at one-hundred dollars a barrel and record profits being made, some could certainly question why this industry needs any taxpayer subsidies at all.  President Obama's proposal would repeal about $44 billion in oil and gas subsidies over 10 years.

I'd like to remind my colleagues of a debate we had last summer on an amendment offered by Senator Sanders.  The amendment he offered would have, among other things, repealed about $35 billion in tax subsidies enjoyed by the oil and gas industry.  Opponents of the Sanders amendment argued that repealing the oil and gas subsidies would reduce domestic energy production and drive up our dependence on foreign oil.  Opponents also argued that it would cost U.S. jobs, and increase prices at the pump for consumers.

I tend to agreed with these arguments.  All of my Republican colleagues and more than one-third of Democrats did as well.  But, a repeal of the ethanol tax incentive is a tax increase that will surely be passed on to American consumers.  Repealing incentives for ethanol would have the same exact result.

I know that removing incentives for oil and gas will have the same impact as removing incentives for ethanol.  We'll get less domestically produced ethanol.  It will cost U.S. jobs.  It will increase our dependence on foreign oil.  It will increase prices at the pump for American consumers.  Mr. President, we're already dependent on foreign sources for more than 60 percent of our oil needs.  Why do my colleagues want to increase our foreign energy dependence when we can produce it here a home?

So, I'd like to ask my colleagues who voted against repealing oil and gas subsidies but support repealing incentives for renewable fuels:  why the inconsistency?  Where are the amendments from fiscal conservatives and deficit hawks to repeal the oil and gas subsidies?  The fact is, it's intellectually inconsistent to say that increasing taxes on ethanol is justified, but that it's irresponsible to do so on oil and gas production.  If tax incentives lead to more domestic energy production and good paying jobs, why are only incentives for oil and gas important?

It's even more ridiculous to claim that the 30 year-old ethanol industry is mature and thus no longer needs government support, while the century old oil industry still receives $35 billion in taxpayer dollars.  Regardless, I don't believe we should be raising taxes on any type of energy production or on any individual, particularly during this weak economy.

The senator from Oklahoma insists that because the renewable fuel is required to be used, it doesn't need an incentive.  But, with oil prices at $100 a barrel, oil companies are doing everything they can to extract more oil from the ground. There isn't a mandate to use oil, but it has a 100-year monopoly on our transportation infrastructure.  When there is little competition to oil and it's enormously profitable, wouldn't he argue that the necessary incentives exist to produce it without additional taxpayer support?  Oil essentially has a mandate today.  The economics of oil production are clearly in favor of the producers. Why do they need taxpayer support?

It's also important to understand the hidden cost of our dependence on foreign oil.  A peer-reviewed paper published in 2010 concluded that "....$27 to $138 billion dollars is spent annually by the U.S. military for protection of Middle Eastern maritime oil transit routes and oil infrastructure, with an average of $84 billion a year."  Mr. President, this is $84 billion in American treasure spent on the defense of shipping lanes to quench our thirst for foreign oil.  It's not reflected in the price at the pump.  It's a hidden cost.

Milton Copulos, an advisor to President Ronald Reagan and a veteran of the Heritage Foundation, testified before Congress in 2006 on this issue.  He testified that the hidden cost of imported oil is equivalent to adding $8.35 to the price of a gallon of gasoline from the Persian Gulf.  There is no hidden U.S. military cost attributable to homegrown ethanol.

Let's have the debate on ethanol.  But, let's debate it in the context of a comprehensive energy plan.  This debate should include the subsidies for all energy production. Don't single out ethanol.

Nearly every type of energy gets some market distorting subsidy from the federal government.  An honest energy debate should include ethanol, oil, natural gas, nuclear, hydropower, wind, solar, and biomass.  It's hypocritical to put our economic and national security at risk by targeting ethanol, while disregarding the subsidies for all other energy sources.  Repealing the ethanol tax incentive will raise taxes on producers, blenders and ultimately consumers of renewable fuel.  This amendment is a gas tax increase of over five cents a gallon at the pump.

I just don't see the logic in arguing for a gas tax increase when we have so many Americans unemployed or underemployed and struggling just to get by.  I know we all agree that we cannot and should not allow job-killing tax hikes during this time of economic uncertainty.  Unfortunately, those members who have called for ending the ethanol incentive have directly contradicted this pledge because a lapse in the credit will raise taxes, cost over 100,000 U.S. jobs at a time of near nine-percent unemployment, and increase our dependence on foreign oil.

The taxpayer watchdog group, Americans for Tax Reform, considers a repeal of this incentive to be a tax hike.  Americans for Tax Reform states, "Repealing the ethanol credit is a corporate income tax increase."  I agree with them.

Now is not the time to impose a gas tax hike on the American people.  Now is not the time to send pink slips to ethanol related jobs.  Ethanol currently accounts for 10 percent of our transportation fuel.  A study concluded that the ethanol industry contributed $8.4 billion to the federal treasury in 2009 -- $3.4 billion more than the ethanol incentive.  Today, the industry supports 400,000 U.S. jobs.  That's why I support a homegrown, renewable fuels industry.

I'd like to conclude by asking my colleagues: If we allow the tax incentive to lapse, from where should we import an additional 10 percent of our oil?  Should we rely on Middle Eastern oil sheiks, or Hugo Chavez?  I'd prefer we support our renewable fuel producers based right here at home, rather than send them a pink slip.  I'd prefer we decrease our dependence on Hugo Chavez, not increase it.  And I certainly don't support raising the tax on gasoline during this weak economy.

WASHINGTON - March 28, 2011 - Senator Chuck Grassley met this month with Bettendorf resident Jeff Kling and his daughters Madison and Allison during their family trip to Washington, D.C. 

The Kling family and Grassley discussed the ongoing federal budget debate, the most recent Senate vote for a continuing resolution to prevent a government shutdown, and the daily responsibilities of a U.S. senator. 

"I'm glad that so many Iowa families, including the Kling's, make arrangements for a meeting when they're in Washington," Grassley said.  "This kind of dialogue, between elected representatives and the people we represent, is a big part of making the process of representative government work." 

Grassley makes it a priority to sit down with Iowans when they're in Washington.  In addition, in Iowa, he has had at least one constituent meeting in every one of Iowa's 99 counties every year since he was first elected to the Senate in 1980.  In addition to regular meetings, Grassley responds to every constituent letter, email and phone call.  He communicates with Iowans on facebook, twitter and at  He is a regular guest on public affairs programs statewide, where he responds to questions from Iowans. 

Meetings can be scheduled with Grassley at  Click on Info for Iowans and select Scheduling Requests.


WASHINGTON - Friday, March 11, 2011 - Senator Chuck Grassley today congratulated four Iowa high school students for winning 1st and 2nd prizes in C-SPAN's national 2011 StudentCam competition.  The honors were announced by C-SPAN on Wednesday.

Matthew Wicks, a junior at Aplington-Parkersburg High School, won a 1st prize, including a $3,000 award, for his documentary titled "After the Storm," about the role of the Federal Emergency Management Agency in helping Parkersburg recover from the tornado that hit the community in May 2008.

Three juniors at Cedar Falls High School, Sara Gabriele, Jarek Bakken and Daniel Yehieli, won 2nd prize, including $1,500, for their video titled "The Price Tag of the American Dream," about education.

Nationwide, C-SPAN recognized one grand prize winner, two 1st prize winners, eight 2nd prize winners, 16 3rd prize winners and 48 honorable mentions in this year's competition.  There were 1,481 entries total, according to C-SPAN.  In its seventh year, the StudentCam competition invites middle school and high school students to produce five-to-eight minute documentaries.  This year, the topic was "Washington, D.C., through my lens."  Information about all of the winners is at  The winning entries can be viewed there

Grassley was interviewed online, via Skype, for both of the Iowa documentaries that won prizes this week.  "I really enjoyed the opportunity to talk with the students and see their enthusiasm and energy for gaining a better understanding of public policy and its impact on the lives of Americans," Grassley said.  "It's wonderful for all of us in Iowa to see these students gain national recognition and from an organization like C-SPAN, which has enhanced the process of representative government by making government more accessible."

C-SPAN said it plans to air the top 27 videos from the competition, one a day, starting April 1, at 5:50 am (CT), followed by an interview with the winning student at 7:30 am (CT) on "Washington Journal," which is C-SPAN's morning call-in program.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Senator Chuck Grassley issued the comment below about the Senate budget votes today.  Grassley voted for the House-passed proposal.  It was defeated in the Senate by a vote of 44 to 56.  He voted against the substitute offered by the Senate Democratic leadership.  It was defeated by a vote of 42 to 58.  Both measures needed 60 votes to pass.  Grassley is a senior member of the Senate Budget Committee.

Grassley comment:

"Today's votes emphasize that there are no more excuses for the Senate Majority Leader.  His proposal for a mere $4.7 billion in spending reductions is clearly not credible.  It's time for the majority party in the Senate to get real about the federal budget and lead an effort to pass meaningful spending reductions.  The $61 billion in cuts adopted by the House comes from government spending programs that saw a 24 percent increase from 2008 to 2010.  What's more, $61 billion is just 1/25th of this year's $1.5 trillion federal deficit.  Forty cents of every dollar spent in Washington today is borrowed.  The Senate needs to do its part in responding to the clear message from voters last November.  Washington can't continue to spend money it doesn't have, at the expense of future generations."