Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) sat down to talk with Iowa Field Report to talk about the Supreme Court, the Iowa US Senate Race, and the effort to lower Prescription drug prices.

Senator Chuck Grassley’s Official Photograph

Senator, you’ve had a chance to meet with Judge Amy Coney Barrett. What was your first impression, and what do you make of the hearing process so far?

The impression that I have is that she’s very friendly and well qualified. What I know about her is what I learned when she was going to be appointed for the Seventh Circuit. And then the hundreds of cases she’s written since that, and the fact that she’s, you might say, conservative, but that’s more of a political comment. I like to say strict constructionist – she’s a person that’s going to interpret law, and not a super legislator, like a lot of liberals put on the courts are.

What comparisons, if any, do you see between the Kavanaugh hearings and this one in terms of the Democrats’ approach?

Well, they don’t have the benefit of people disturbing the hearing because of the virus situation – since March 10, we haven’t had anyone in the committee buildings or the capital. So that’s different. They but they’re still using the same tactics of distorting and distracting from her qualifications. They did the same thing because Kavanaugh was so qualified. And, because of that, they’re going to do every scare tactic they can. And I don’t know if they used those same scare tactics in Kavanaugh, it was more that they were going after him personally. They can’t go after her personally, in the same way (against Barrett) as they did against Kavanagh. So then, they’re scaring up about Roe v. Wade, and about the ACA, and people are going to lose their health insurance. They’ve even got Biden on the outside, warning people yesterday, that there’s gonna be a hearing on November the 10th on the ACA, so you’re gonna lose your health insurance right away.

Turning to Iowa, your colleague Senator Joni Ernst is in a really tough re-election campaign, and her opponent has refused to take a position on several issues. But one, in particular, is packing the court, or adding members to the Supreme Court.   What are your thoughts? What do you make of her decision not to take a position on a lot of these issues, especially that one on the Supreme Court?

Biden won’t take a position either. Biden says wait till I’m elected.


Just like Pelosi saying, on Obamacare, 10 years ago, we got to pass it to find out what’s in it. You gotta either defeat or you got to elect Biden to find out what he’s gonna do on the Court. So there’s nothing more disrespectful of the voters [than that] from my point of view.  And it’s the same way for Greenfield and she’s not willing to take position on it. And I hope that Joni gets her pinned down on this when issue they have their next debate. The trouble is, Greenfield is not getting out among the voters. She’s locked down in the basement just like Biden. Half of the counties she hasn’t even been in, unlike Joni Ernst. Each of the last six years, [Sen. Ernst] has been to every one of the 99 counties at least once. And probably most of them took two or three times. Joni Ernst wants to keep in touch with the people. Greenfield seems to not want to interact with people, except in selected groups that are picked ahead of time. So she doesn’t have to worry about answering to people.

He explained that while he thinks Ernst is ahead, but the fight is far from over.

First of all, I know Joni Ernst is a little bit ahead, but not enough ahead for us to be really certain about it. You know there have been 100 million dollars spent against her. And when they’re putting ads up that she’s against Social Security…there hasn’t been a vote to privatize Social Security.  There hasn’t been a vote cutting Social Security benefits since Joni Ernst has been in the Senate. In fact, I would guess that the last vote dealing with Social Security goes back to 1984 when it was busted, and Reagan and Tip O’Neill got together in a bipartisan way to save it. And it’s been safe for the last 40 years because of their bipartisanship. So when you are scaring all the older people with 100 million dollars, just so Schumer can take over the United States Senate, you know who Greenfield is going to be representing:  the interests of Schumer.  And, let me tell you, Greenfield wants you to think she’s a moderate – I can tell you Schumer is no moderate and he’s gonna take over the United States Senate if they win the Majority.

To give some context to Sen. Grassley’s comments below is a recent analysis of the money flooding in to help Teresa Greenfield’s campaign, with the Senate Majority PAC, the super PAC aligned with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, coming in at #2:

Top 10 Spenders Benefitting Theresa Greenfield
Greenfield: $35.5M
Senate Majority PAC: $28.6M
DSCC: $25.9M
Women Vote: $3.2M
Majority Forward: $3.0M
LCV Victory Fund: $2.4M
Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund: $1.8M
End Citizens United: $1.7M
One Country Fund: $499.1K
Duty and Honor: $456.5K
Total: $103,055,600

Chuck Schumer came up again when he talked about the bill Grassley proposed with Sen. Wyden to lower prescription drug prices.

You’ve been working on a prescription drug pricing bill that’s received a lot of bipartisan praise and support. Can you tell our readers a little bit more about that?

Yeah. And by the way, Joni Enrst is a co-sponsor of my bill, We worked for a year and a half with Wyden (Sen. Rob Wyden), my Democratic counterpart on the committee, and we had our Grassley-Wyden bill, and we were ready to move it to the floor. And you know what, Schumer came along and told Wyden to quit working with Grassley. So you know how much Schumer is interested in getting drug prices down. And so it’s come to a stall but I would have saved the taxpayers 95 billion dollars. It would have cut premiums for seniors, it would have put an out of pocket cost limit on for seniors so they know how much they have to pay per year. It would have done so many other things that cut down on drug prices.


But of course, not only did Schumer step in, but then you’re fighting Big Pharma. You know what the president says about Big Pharma. They’re just one of the toughest groups in town. But the President has taken some executive action that will accomplish some of the things I wanted accomplish. And so thank God for the President. And by the way, AARP was backing our bill and spent a lot of money in helping us sell it as well. It’s very important for our Seniors. So Joni and I are working hard to lower drug prices for our seniors

As the interview came to a close, Senator Grassley commented that he was keeping a close eye on Iowa state House races.  In particular, those in Scott, Polk, Jones, and Buchanan counties.

What Democrats are trying to do is take over the Iowa House of Representatives, and we can’t let that happen. Because if they take it over, the same things might happen to Governor Reynolds that happened to Trump by Pelosi. That will make the next two years of the Reynolds governorship very, very difficult.  So I hope you’ll really help us get the word out that we’ve got to elect a Republican majority in the Iowa House of Representatives, and the Democrats are putting a lot of money in to make sure they get control.