Charles Grassley

Republicans Quietly Blow Up ‘Blue Slips’

Politico: “Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley is burning the blue slip for some judicial nominees. The Iowa Republican announced Thursday that he is going ahead with a confirmation hearing for a nominee to the powerful appellate courts despite the objections of a Democrat who had been blocking the nomination for months. The move will likely escalate the judicial wars in the Senate.”

“The blue slip process is a century-old Senate tradition that says the Judiciary Committee doesn’t hold a confirmation hearing for potential judges without approval from permission from the candidate’s home-state senators… Previous committee chairs have rigidly adhered to the blue-slip rule for district court nominees, whose courts span just a single state.  But they have been more flexible for the more influential and powerful circuit courts.  Democrats pointed out that Grassley, as chairman during the final two years of Obama’s presidency, declined to hold hearings for nine of Obama’s judicial picks because of the blue slip policy.”

Grassley Says Cruz Amendment May Be ‘Subterfuge’

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) told Iowa Public Radio that he probably won’t support an amendment by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to the Senate’s Obamacare repeal bill.

“Cruz proposes allowing insurance companies to sell two types of healthcare policies, one that is compliant with the Affordable Care Act and one that is not. Grassley says he’s concerned how Cruz’s amendment might affect people with pre-existing conditions.”

Said Grassley: “There’s a real feeling that that’s subterfuge to get around pre-existing conditions. If it is subterfuge and it has the effect of annihilating the pre-existing condition requirement that we have in the existing bill, than obviously I would object to that.”

Grassley Rankles GOP with New Comey Investigation

“Republicans are wary of Sen. Chuck Grassley’s (R-IA) decision to launch a Judiciary Committee investigation into the firing of former FBI director James Comey,” The Hill reports.

Said Grassley: “There should be no improper interference with FBI investigations to favor any elected official or candidate of either party.”

“Grassley’s announcement took his Republican colleagues by surprise, and several said they are uncomfortable with the addition of yet another investigation that could target the Trump White House.”

Grassley Says Trump Would Be Immune from Blackmail

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) told WBZ in Boston that he’s not concerned that Russia may have information which could compromise President-elect Donald Trump.

Said Grassley: “It seems to me that when you go back through the campaign and all the things that Trump said that ought to give him political problems and all the things that were caught on tape  —  that he would probably just as soon not have the world know about it  –  it’s kind of improbable to me that anybody who knows anything about Trump  —  that’s going to end up hurting Trump. And he was elected President of the United States.”

Grassley Might Be Open to Lame Duck Hearing

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, “appears to have softened his stance on holding confirmation hearings for Merrick Garland, President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court,” the Huffington Post reports.

“Grassley said in May the Senate should not consider a nominee until the day the next president is sworn in. But… he said he could change his position and hold a hearing between the November election and Inauguration Day if Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton wins the White House, and a majority of senators convinced him to do so.”

Said Grassley: “If we have the election, and there was a majority of the Senate changed their mind about doing it in the lame duck, as opposed to January 20, I don’t feel that I could stand in the way of that. But I don’t think I can promote that idea.”

Democrats Step Up Attacks on Grassley

“Democrats are increasingly laying a hammer to Sen. Chuck Grassley as they seek to unseat the Iowa Republican,” The Hill reports.

“Grassley’s Senate seat is widely handicapped as likely to stay in the GOP column, but Democrats believe the rise of Donald Trump and the fight over the Supreme Court are providing the perfect storm for taking out the six-term GOP incumbent.”

For members: The Consensus Senate Forecast

Obama Will Meet with GOP Senators on Supreme Court

“President Obama is to confer in the Oval Office on Tuesday with Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican majority leader, and Sen. Charles Grassley, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, about filling the Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. If everyone maintains previously stated positions, it might be a very short meeting,” the New York Times reports.

“Mr. Obama is adamant that he will name a nominee to the court, most likely in the next few weeks. Republicans remain just as adamant that they will not even meet with Mr. Obama’s nominee, let alone hold confirmation hearings.”

Grassley Might Hold Hearings on Obama Pick

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told Radio Iowa that he had not ruled out holding hearings on President Obama’s eventual nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.

Said Grassley: “I would wait until the nominee is made before I would make any decisions. This is a very serious position to fill and it should be filled and debated during the campaign and filled by either Hillary Clinton, Senator Sanders or whoever’s nominated by the Republicans.”

Quote of the Day

“I don’t know whether Cruz or Trump are going to carry the state, but below those two there’ll probably be three or four that will be within four or five points of each other so I assume we’re gonna have four or five people go away here as victors, at least in their own minds.”

— Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), quoted by Politico, on tonight’s Iowa caucuses.

Grassley Shocks Many By Joining Trump at Rally

Donald Trump’s campaign piqued the interest of political observers when Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) joined him at a rally, the Washington Post reports.

“Grassley, who did not endorse Trump, has introduced several other candidates campaigning in Iowa. But his presence at the Trump campaign event nonetheless demonstrated the increasingly warm relationship between Trump and the Republican political establishment, which was initially stunned and disheartened by the flamboyant billionaire’s enormous lead over other more establishment-friendly candidates.”

Grassley Ramps Up Re-Election Bid

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) “doesn’t plan to be caught flat-footed if he faces a competitive, expensive re-election battle in 2016,” Roll Call reports.

Said Grassley: “I suppose early on, you spend your time on funding the campaign more than on organization, probably working very closely with the NRSC, more so than I have in the past because of the sophistication of campaigning now and the massive amount of money you have to raise compared to what you used to have to have. The days of cheap campaigns are over.”