Senate Judiciary Committee Chair (& Strict Obstructionist-in-Chief) Chuck Grassley had hoped for a warm welcome home. Using the brief Senate spring break, he planned to explain to Iowa voters why the Senate is refusing to hold hearings and blocking the confirmation process for President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Merrick Garland. But things got off to a rocky start…
By Bridget Bowman, March 29, 2016
Sen. Charles E. Grassley can’t seem to escape the debate over the Supreme Court nominee.
Back in Iowa for recess Monday, he faced 19 questions at two town hall meetings and a televised speech from Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton calling him out for his unwillingness to give President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, a hearing or a vote.
Then there was that pesky Ben Franklin, a protester dressed like the Founding Father and following Grassley to events, urging the senator to “do your job.”
By Amanda Terkel, March 28, 2016
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) says he will be going around speaking with constituents at more than a dozen events in his home state during the Senate’s two-week spring recess.
But most of the public will have no idea how to find him, because his office is keeping the details of those events secret to avoid protesters.
After the first day, Sen. Grassley decided he should spend more time in friendlier parts of Iowa. That didn’t work either, with “Republican-dominated” events filled with constituents angry at the Senator’s politically-motivated obstructionism.
Associated Press, March 29, 2016
If Sen. Chuck Grassley thought he could escape the pressure over President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nomination by traveling to friendly conservative territory, the trip offered little relief.
The powerful Iowa Republican, who heads the Senate Judiciary Committee, arrived Monday at a town hall meeting in a Republican-dominated county, only to find that the debate had followed him. The discussion at a senior center was dominated by his refusal to hold confirmation hearings.
Monday’s meeting took place in a Republican-dominated county where Grassley won more than 80 percent of the vote in his last two elections. Today, his sole public event is scheduled in a neighboring county where 92 percent of voters backed him in 2010.
Some observers think it’s no coincidence that the senator has chosen this time to hold public events more than 200 miles from more liberal Des Moines or other urban areas.
Since Grassley teamed up with Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to lead the obstructionists’ charge, the senator has been hammered by numerous brutal editorials and Letters to the Editors in Iowa’s papers. The hometown papers didn’t let up with his trip home.
All of these articles ran on the front pages of Iowa’s papers today:
March 28, 2016
Even in this most conservative corner of Iowa, U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley on Monday faced tough and repeated questions over his refusal to hold hearings on a nominee to the Supreme Court.
Crowds at two town hall meetings here Monday afternoon returned again and again to Grassley’s decision as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee not to consider the nomination of Appeals Court Judge Merrick Garland to the high court.
Others objected that blocking the nomination elevated politics over functional government, continued a worrisome politicization of the courts and could even hurt Republicans’ reputations.
Grassley, a Republican and Iowa’s senior senator, is meeting constituents across the western flank of the state over Congress’ spring recess. But only three of his 19 planned events are publicly announced town hall meetings — and they’re happening in the three most heavily Republican counties in the state in terms of voter registration.
March 29, 2016
March 29, 2016
U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley on Monday faced tough and repeated questions during two town hall meetings in Iowa over his refusal to hold hearings on a nominee to the Supreme Court.
March 29, 2016