Sen. Charles "Chuck" E. Grassley
- Homepage: http://grassley.senate.gov/
December 2008: "...Chuck Grassley keeps in touch by visiting every one of Iowa’s 99 counties at least one time every year. He’s done so every year since his election to the Senate in 1980. He responds to every letter, postcard, e-mail and phone call from Iowa. He’s determined to help Iowans cut through government red tape, and Senator Grassley’s offices in Iowa and Washington are the go-to place for constituent services.
Senator Grassley goes the distance to make government more accountable. He seeks reforms that bring openness and transparency. He’s the sponsor of legislation to let cameras in federal courtrooms and create a watchdog for the federal judiciary. Few lawmakers oversee the federal bureaucracy as aggressively as Senator Grassley, who cites Congress’ responsibility to see that the laws it passes are faithfully executed. He keeps a short leash on the practices of the Internal Revenue Service, the FBI, the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, the Centers for Disease Control, the General Services Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
When he’s onto a problem, Senator Grassley doesn’t give up. He pressed for results for Iowans who worked at the Cold War Army Ammunition Plan in Middleton and then got the cold shoulder from the federal compensation program set up for those made sick by radiation and toxic materials. He successfully argued that plant workers and their families deserved a hearing, just like when he got the U.S. government to turn over a million pages of documents in 1992 about missing POWs and MIAs from the Vietnam War.
Senator Grassley continues his long-standing oversight of the Defense Department's ability to misspend tax dollars by working to cleanup the misuse of government-issued credit cards. He's raised doubts about hefty government relocation fees paid for transferring federal employees. He sought an investigation of fraud and abuse of Social Security disability payments, while also passing legislation to close the loopholes exploited by bad actors.
Senator Grassley has made tax fairness and the credibility of tax-exempt status a top priority and scrutinized abusive use of foundation tax structures, misuse of dollars given to the United Way and the American Red Cross, questionable land sales by the Nature Conservancy, fine art donations that leave paintings in donor living rooms rather than on museum walls, loopholes used to write off entire safari trips by donating stuffed animals that sat in dusty rail cares, and the extent to which nonprofit hospitals provide charity care to the needy. Until his effort, Congress hadn’t looked at the laws governing nonprofits since 1969, even while the size of the tax-exempt sector of the economy exploded.
Senator Grassley watches out for the interests of the elderly, including the 1.6 million residents in the nation's nursing homes. As Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee in the late 1990s, he exposed terrible neglect in some of the nation's 17,000 nursing homes and spurred a comprehensive effort to improve standards of care. Senator Grassley’s scrutiny of a Food and Drug Administration that became too cozy with the drug industry it regulates, resulted in more information for the public about the risks of antidepressants in young people and stronger warnings and restricted uses for other drugs on the market. He keeps the pressure on for reforms, saying consumers shouldn’t have to second guess the safety of what’s in their medicine cabinets.
Senator Grassley champions whistleblowers in government and the private sector who put their jobs on the line to expose fraud or wrongdoing for the public good. The senator co-authored the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 for government workers. He successfully fought to include whistleblower protections for employees of publicly traded companies in Sarbanes-Oxley law to encourage revelations of corporate wrongdoing. He also worked to make sure federal employees in the new Homeland Security Department could come forward with information regarding national security and public safety.
What’s more, whistleblower amendments that Senator Grassley sponsored during a 1986 update of the False Claims Act have recovered $18 billion to the U.S. Treasury that otherwise would have been lost to fraud. Senator Grassley worked at that time to empower whistleblowers against defense contractor fraud. Today his whistleblower provisions are the government’s most effective tool against health care fraud.
When it comes to making public policy, Senator Grassley is known as a workhorse, not a show horse. He’s earned a reputation as an honest broker and has achieved great legislative success.
Senator Grassley is the Ranking Member of what he calls the “Quality of Life” committee because it’s responsible for the issues affecting virtually every American from cradle to grave. The Finance Committee is responsible for tax policy, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare policy, pensions, worker's compensation, and job-generating international trade. Senator Grassley also uses his other key committee assignments -- Agriculture, Judiciary and Budget — to gain the best advantage for Iowans.
While Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee in 2001 and from 2003 to 2007, Senator Grassley guided through Congress seven international trade agreements covering 12 countries and nine major tax bills, including the biggest income tax cut in a generation, which Alan Greenspan said was key to helping the economy recover after 9-11. The 2001 Grassley tax cut made the tax code more progressive by creating a 10-percent marginal rate for the lowest-income worker, expanding the child tax credit, and reducing the marriage penalty. By spurring economic activity, the tax policy also resulted in record-breaking revenues collected by the federal Treasury.
As Chairman, Senator Grassley succeeded in making tax-free savings plans for college a permanent part of the tax code, creating the deduction for tuition, and securing the tax deductibility of interest on student loans. In 2006, he shepherded through Congress the first major overhaul of pension guarantee legislation that was enacted in 1974. It is designed to prevent Enron-type scandals from happening again and includes broad new incentives to help Americans save more for retirement. Chairman Grassley made sure that millions of American families were held harmless from the unintended consequences of the Alternative Minimum Tax. And, Chairman Grassley fought for tax fairness by shutting down tax shelters and closing tax loopholes used by corporations and wealthy individuals to avoid taxes owed.
Senator Grassley has long been one of the most outspoken advocates in Congress for developing domestically produced alternative, renewable energy. In the 1990s, he worked to create the clean air mandate that set the stage for expanded ethanol production and use. In 1997, Senator Grassley led the fight to extend the ethanol program for 10 years. As Chairman of the Finance Committee, Grassley authored another extension of the tax credit for ethanol, along with the tax incentives for small ethanol producers. Chairman Grassley also expanded and extended that tax incentive for wind energy production, which he first authored in 1992, and he created and expanded tax incentives for biodiesel and biomass energy sources. Senator Grassley was also a leading proponent of the Renewable Fuels Standard in the 2005 national energy bill. He has sponsored legislation to have 25 percent of America’s energy come from renewable sources by 2025. He is a steady force against efforts to undermine the expansion of ethanol production in the United States by prematurely lifting the tariff on Brazilian ethanol. And, Senator Grassley holds Big Oil’s feet to the fire by publicly questioning the industry’s willingness to use ethanol-blended gasoline at service stations.
Health care policy is also a top priority for Senator Grassley. Chairman Grassley developed the first-ever Medicare prescription drug benefit with extra help for lower-income seniors and won approval of landmark rural health provisions to improve unfair federal formulas that had shortchanged health care delivery system in states like Iowa. He also works to help the disabled and working poor to afford health care coverage. Senator Grassley won a huge victory in 2006 with enactment of a Grassley-Kennedy plan to allow working parents to buy into Medicaid for children with special needs. With 43 million Americans facing no health care coverage, Senator Grassley is committed to doing more to increase access to affordable health care.
Chuck Grassley is a working family farmer, who has long given farmers a voice at the policymaking tables both in Washington and around the world during global trade negotiations. Senator Grassley knows the importance of the farm safety net for Rural America and independent producers and works against anti-competitive practices like vertical integration in the meatpacking industry. Chuck Grassley is the leading advocate of payment limits on farm program subsidies to prevent the largest operators from getting two-thirds of total farm payments and perpetuating the growth of large, corporate farms and rural population decline. He doesn’t shy away from a dust up when the federal government hands down rules that are out of touch with the reality of the winds that blow across Midwestern fields. He seeks justice for black farmers who were unfairly treated by the Department of Agriculture, and he works for common sense management of both conservation and farm-related barge traffic on the Mississippi River.
As a Senior Member of the Judiciary Committee, Senator Grassley has won a major overhaul of the nation’s bankruptcy system, curbs on abuses of the class action lawsuit system, and tougher penalties and better monitoring of sexual predators who target children. He made Chapter 12 for farmers a permanent part of the bankruptcy code to help family farmers reorganize debt and keep farming. He fights for consumers to have access to affordable medicine with legislation to prohibit brand-name drug manufacturers from using pay-off agreements to keep cheaper generic equivalents off the market. He’s the lead sponsor of legislation to create a new worker verification system for employers to determine if workers are legally in the United States.
Senator Grassley is the 15th highest ranking member of the U.S. Senate..."http://grassley.senate.gov/about/More-About-Grassley.cfm
January 2006: "Born: Sept. 17, 1933, New Hartford, Iowa...
Occupation: Farmer (son, Robin, currently operates family farm); sheet metal shearer 1959-1961; assembly line worker 1961-1971; elected to Iowa Legislature 1958; U.S. House of Representatives 1974, U.S. Senate 1980
Education: B.A. 1955, M.A. 1956 Political Science, University of Northern Iowa; Ph.D. work, University of Iowa"http://grassley.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Biography.Home
September 2013: "A letter from the NSA's inspector general responding to a request by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, lists the dozen incidents where the NSA's foreign intelligence collection systems were abused. The letter also says there are two additional incidents now under investigation and another allegation pending that may require an investigation."http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/27/politics/nsa-snooping/index.html
July 2012: 'In the New York Times business section, we read that the HSBC banking group is being fined up to $1bn, for not preventing money-laundering (a highly profitable activity not to prevent) between 2004 and 2010 – a six years' long "oops". In another article that day, Republican Senator Charles Grassley says of the financial group Peregrine capital: "This is a company that is on top of things." The article goes onto explain that at Peregrine Financial, "regulators discovered about $215m in customer money was missing." Its founder now faces criminal charges. Later, the article mentions that this revelation comes a few months after MF Global "lost" more than $1bn in clients' money.'http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/14/global-financial-fraud-gatekeepers
June 2011: "But Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee who closely monitors United States visa programs, said he remained skeptical of Infosys’s intentions."http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/22/us/22infosys.html
October 2010: 'Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the senior Republican on the Finance Committee, said he thought “administration officials are trying so hard to put a positive spin on program losses that they played fast and loose with the numbers.” He said it reminded him of “misleading” claims that General Motors had paid back its rescue loans with interest ahead of schedule.'http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/26/business/26tarp.html
July 2010: '"I have serious concerns that the new IRM provisions will deter whistleblowers from filing claims," Grassley said in a June 21 letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, whose department includes the IRS.'http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/30/AR2010063005349.html
May 2010: "In January 2007, Sens. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) and Arlen Specter (Pa.), who was then a Republican, called on the SEC to reopen the case and issued a 700-plus-page report on the matter that accused the agency of turning a blind eye to one of Wall Street's most prominent investors."http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/27/AR2010052705351.html
October 2009: 'Most of the discussion of U.S. work visas in recent years has focused on the effect of visas, when used legally, on the American workforce. Some U.S. tech workers contend that bringing in foreign workers drives down their salaries and makes it easier to move jobs overseas. Senators Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) have introduced a bill to overhaul the visa program aimed at protecting U.S. workers. But they also want to boost enforcement to combat the mistreatment of foreign visa holders. "We want to stop corruption of [all types in] the [H-1B] program," Grassley said in an interview.'http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/09_41/b4150034732629.htm
September 2009: 'Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, a leading Republican voice on health issues, expressed concern that the health institutes might not be monitoring the grant process closely enough. “Deviations from the peer review process need to be well documented and made transparent so scientists and taxpayers can trust the decisions made by this agency,” Mr. Grassley said.'http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/22/health/22grant.html
August 2009: "With a letter last week, a senator who helps oversee public funding for medical research signaled that he was running out of patience with the practice of ghostwriting. Senator Charles E. Grassley, an Iowa Republican who has led a long-running investigation of conflicts of interest in medicine, is starting to put pressure on the National Institutes of Health to crack down on the practice."http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/19/health/research/19ethics.html
May 2009: 'Congressional Republicans were relatively quiet. Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the senior Republican on the Senate Finance Committee and a frequent critic of tax schemes, said the president could “count on my support” to crack down on abuses. “But if he’s using tax shelters as a stalking horse to raise taxes on corporations at the cost of U.S. jobs, he’ll lose me.”'http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/05/business/05tax.html
June 2009: "Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) charged yesterday that top officials at the Library of Congress have interfered with investigations conducted by its independent watchdogs and have frequently admonished investigators for the tone and focus of their investigations."http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/04/AR2009060404473.html
June 2009: "Medtronic has declined to provide the financial details of its relationship with Dr. Kuklo, although the company said Friday that it planned to provide some of that information next week to Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, who is investigating the matter."http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/06/business/06surgeon.html
June 2009: "The bill, introduced by Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), would change many of the rules companies must follow to obtain temporary work visas, known as H-1Bs and L-1s. The most controversial new rule would bar companies with more than 50 U.S. employees from getting any additional work visas if more than 50% of their U.S. workforce is made up of H-1B or L-1 visa holders. The 50/50 Rule"http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/content/jun2009/db2009062_581634.htm?campaign_id=rss_daily
December 2008: 'Congress wanted to guarantee that the $700 billion financial bailout would limit the eye-popping pay of Wall Street executives, so lawmakers included a mechanism for reviewing executive compensation and penalizing firms that break the rules...."The flimsy executive-compensation restrictions in the original bill are now all but gone," said Sen. Charles E. Grassley (Iowa), ranking Republican on of the Senate Finance Committee.'http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/14/AR2008121402670.html
November 2008: '"The presidents' salary boost and tuition hikes regularly outpace inflation, just like coaches'," said Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, which has been investigating college costs.'http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/16/AR2008111601974.html
November 2008: "Administration officials had just given American banks a windfall of as much as $140 billion....Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking member on the Finance Committee, was particularly outraged and had his staff push for an explanation from the Bush administration, according to congressional aides."http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/09/AR2008110902155.html
September 2008: "On Capitol Hill, Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) cited the study as he opened an investigation of the way the FDA has regulated the chemical, joining several Democrats, led by Rep. John D. Dingell (Mich.), who have been looking into whether chemical manufacturers unduly influenced the agency's stance."http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/16/AR2008091601037.html
August 2008: '“This is outrageous,” said Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the top-ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, who has repeatedly credited the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services with reducing improper expenditures. “If heads don’t roll, you can’t change the culture of this organization,” he added.'http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/21/business/21medicare.html
July 2008: "But now the profession itself is under attack in Congress, accused of allowing this relationship to become too cozy. After a series of stinging investigations of individual doctors’ arrangements with drug makers, Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, is demanding that the American Psychiatric Association, the field’s premier professional organization, give an accounting of its financing."http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/12/washington/12psych.html
July 2008: '"Whistle-blowers are the key to the secrets locked in closets throughout the federal bureaucracy and government contractors," said Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa). "These patriotic Americans stick their necks out, against all odds, to help the federal government pursue fraud and save taxpayers tens of billions of dollars that would otherwise be lost."'http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/01/AR2008070103071.html
June 2008: "By failing to report income, the psychiatrist, Dr. Joseph Biederman, and a colleague in the psychiatry department at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Timothy E. Wilens, may have violated federal and university research rules designed to police potential conflicts of interest, according to Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa. Some of their research is financed by government grants."http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/08/us/08conflict.html
April 2008: 'The Internal Revenue Service expects to lose more than $37 million by using private debt collectors to pursue tax scofflaws....Said Grassley: "The intense effort to game the numbers and kill this program in the cradle is noteworthy even by Washington standards. IRS officials have testified that the private debt-collection program has taught the IRS new, more effective techniques."'http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/14/AR2008041402808.html
April 2008: "The new information was contained in e-mail messages to executives at Schering-Plough that were released Monday by Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee. The committee has been investigating the delay in the release of the Enhance trial results."http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/01/business/01drug.html
February 2008: '4. 'Every April, Sen. Grassley calls IRS officials before the Finance Committee to grill them on taxpayer protection. He's increasingly concerned about unethical, unlicensed tax preparers and what he calls "sharks in the water." "Anyone can call himself a tax preparer," Grassley laments.'http://www.smartmoney.com/10things/index.cfm?story=march2008-tax-preparers
February 2008: '2. "You wouldn't believe what I get away with." Complaints about tax preparers, including allegations of inaccuracies and returns that weren't filed on time, are up 80% in the past five years, says the Council of Better Business Bureaus. But when it comes to the IRS policing problem preparers, "the lifeguard is asleep," complains Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who took the agency to task for inaction last April. (The IRS had no comment.) Less than 1.5% of returns get audited, and while that may pacify nervous taxpayers, audits are the primary way to catch bad tax pros. The GAO found that a year after it reported poor preparers by name to the IRS, the agency had failed to audit a single one.'http://www.smartmoney.com/10things/index.cfm?story=march2008-tax-preparers
February 2008: 'Dean Zerbe, counsel to Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), also is investigating for the Senate Finance Committee. Grassley and other members of Congress criticized West's travel. Zerbe said, "When you put it all in a package, it is wholly ugly. You don't expect high-ranking public officials to do this. West took advantage to a fare-thee-well."'http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/08/AR2008020803008.html
February 2008: 'The H-1B program could get an overhaul later this year. Senators Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) and Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) have proposed reforms because of what they consider widespread abuse. "There are simply too many loopholes that companies can use to get around the original intent of the H-1B visa," says Grassley in an e-mail.'http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/08_06/b4070057782750.htm
January 2008: "Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, said his investigators had uncovered instances in which doctors financed by the health institutes had also taken money from drug makers but did not report the income to their universities."http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/19/us/19conflict.html
December 2007: "“We are already in the soup, and it is a question of how bad it is going to get,” said Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the senior Republican on the Finance Committee, who urged a speedy resolution of the [AMT tax] impasse."http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/06/us/06tax.html
December 2007: "Should Congress care if a minister drives a Bentley, flies private jets, or buys a $23,000 commode? Yes, says Sen. Charles Grassley (R) of Iowa, if the high-spending ways violate the US tax code – especially a tax exemption for religious organizations."http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/1206/p02s01-uspo.html
November 2007: Mr. Grassley said yesterday that he sent letters to the six Christian ministries on Monday requesting documents to answer a long list of questions about their compensation, housing allowances, checking and savings accounts, cars, airplanes and overseas trips. They have until Dec. 6 to respond.http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/07/us/07ministers.html
October 2007: Last week, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and its ranking Republican member, Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, sent letters to Carlyle and four other private-equity firms asking for information related to their ownership and management of nursing homes. The committee has authority over nursing homes and health care.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/21/AR2007102101034.html
October 2007: Another Republican author of the bill, Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, said the White House claims [about the children's health bill--Ed.] were “flatly incorrect.”http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/17/washington/17health.html
October 2007: One co-author of the [children's health] bill, Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, said critics in his own party who referred to the expansion as “socialized medicine” were making “outlandish accusations.”http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/06/washington/06health.html
July 2007: But the GAO report found that the Agriculture Department depends on heirs and businesses to alert the agency to deaths and does not use other sources, such as Social Security records, to confirm eligibility. The report was prepared at the request of Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), a frequent critic of large subsidies to wealthy farms. It is expected to be publicly released Tuesday at a Senate Finance Committee hearing.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/22/AR2007072201128.html
July 2007: As a senator from Iowa for the past 25 years, Grassley, a Republican, likes to keep close track of the taxpayers' money. A farm-country conservative, he tries to ferret out wasteful defense spending and other federal boondoggles. The plain-spoken, slightly ornery Grassley is such a tightwad himself that he keeps his air conditioning at 80 degrees. For many years, when he reached the top ramp of the Senate garage, he turned off his car and coasted down to his parking space, to save gas. At about the time Schwarzman took Blackstone public last month—making Schwarzman's shares worth about $8 billion—Grassley introduced a bill to raise the tax rates, from 15 to 35 percent, on certain private-equity partnerships, like Blackstone, that go public. It was nothing personal, Grassley insists; just a question of fairness. (And indeed, because the law would be slowly phased in on Blackstone, Schwarzman himself could escape most of the higher taxes.) But the legislation, known as the Blackstone Bill, sent a shiver through Wall Street.http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19762041/site/newsweek
June 2007: 'The National Institutes of Health conducts important research for the public good, and individuals who hold high-level positions there ought to understand that they hold the public trust and demonstrate respect for it with their actions,' Grassley said.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/26/AR2007062601964.html
June 2007: Sen. Charles Grassley (R.-Iowa), who discloses his holds as a matter of practice, introduced an amendment in 2006 to force all senators to identify themselves when placing a hold on a bill. That proposal has gone nowhere fast.http://www.projo.com/opinion/contributors/content/CT_davis11_06-11-07_ON5S5B0.21e770f.html
June 2007: Senator Max Baucus, the Montana Democrat who leads the Senate Finance Committee, and Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican member, introduced a bill that would tax as corporations all publicly traded partnerships that derive most of their income by managing other people’s assets, like Blackstone and the Fortress Investment Group, which went public earlier this year.http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/15/business/15tax.html
June 2007: Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, has investigated Dr. Johann-Liang’s accusations. Mr. Grassley sent a letter on Monday to the Food and Drug Commissioner Andrew C. von Eschenbach demanding that he investigate the case.http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/06/health/06fda.html
May 2007: “If fines are nothing more than the cost of doing business, you cannot deter bad behavior,” said Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, who proposed the increase.http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/10/washington/10drug.html
April 2007: “The problem with physician-owned specialty hospitals is that decision-making is more likely to be driven by financial interest rather than patient interest,” said Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, who is a longtime critic of such hospitals.http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/02/business/02alarm.html
November 2006: Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said erasing the gap would cost more than $400 billion over 10 years: 'The Medicare prescription drug program may not be perfect, but beneficiaries now can get affordable prescription drug coverage, and they can choose a plan, including a plan with gap coverage, that best meets their needs.'http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/01/AR2006110103324.html
October 2006: Many of the recommendations would require action by Congress. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) has sponsored legislation that would give the FDA more authority to monitor safety after a drug hits the market.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/09/AR2006100901029.html
November 2005: Tightening the trophy-mount tax break, and making sure that museums do not accept donated items with the intention of quickly selling them off, have been identified as priorities by Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/16/AR2005111602180.html
October 2005: The Senate is still divided, however, on how to treat corporations with junk credit ratings - the ones most likely to wind up in the P.B.G.C.'s lap. Hard-liners like Senator Chuck Grassley insist they should be forced to strengthen their pension plans in a hurry; Senators Mike DeWine and Barbara Mikulski (both from states with blue-collar constituencies) want to give such companies lenience. So after months of lobbying, politicking and deal making, moral hazard is still alive.http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/30/magazine/30pensions.html
November 2004: Graham's revelations and criticisms were the centerpiece of the hearing called by Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and an increasingly sharp critic of the FDA. After Graham's comments, Grassley pointedly warned agency officials against disciplining Graham in any way.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A61157-2004Nov18.html
Role Name Type Last Updated Member of (past or present) Republican Party (U.S.) / Republican National Committee Organization Jan 6, 2006 Member of (past or present) US House of Representatives Organization Jan 6, 2006 Member of (past or present) US Senate Organization Jan 6, 2006 Student/Trainee (past or present) University of Iowa Organization Jan 6, 2006 Student/Trainee (past or present) University of Northern Iowa (UNI) Organization Jan 6, 2006 Colleague/Co-worker of (past or present) Sen. Max Baucus Esq. Person Jun 18, 2007 Advised by (past or present) Samuel J. Gerdano Esq. Person Jan 21, 2006
Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Jan 11, 2006 I.R.S. Move Said to Hurt the Poor
QUOTE: Tax refunds sought by 1.6 million poor Americans over the last five years were frozen and their returns labeled fraudulent, although the vast majority appear to have done nothing wrong, the Internal Revenue Service's taxpayer advocate told Congress yesterday.
New York Times Jan 11, 2006 Drug Makers Scrutinized Over Grants
QUOTE: A Congressional investigation of the money that drug companies give as supposed educational grants has found that the payments are growing rapidly and are sometimes steered by marketing executives to doctors and groups who push unapproved uses of drugs.
New York Times Jan 06, 2006 Medicare Officials' Attendance at Lavish Contractor Meetings Probed
QUOTE: Medicare officials responsible for overseeing $300 million awarded annually to private contractors regularly attended conferences sponsored by the groups at lavish beach and mountain resorts..."appeared to be more of a party than a diligent working meeting."
Washington Post Dec 30, 2005 Red Cross Leadership at Issue: Grassley Begins Inquiry, Questions Board's Effectiveness
QUOTE: Among the areas of interest to Grassley, the Finance Committee chairman, are the organization's governance structure, executive compensation and spending on public relations. The move by Grassley signals his determination to get to the bottom of the turmoil at the 125-year-old organization, aides said, and could lead to dramatic changes in the leadership of the Red Cross...
Washington Post Nov 17, 2005 Loophole For Hunters Targeted: Senate Debates Curbing Tax Breaks on Trophies
QUOTE: Tightening the trophy-mount tax break, and making sure that museums do not accept donated items with the intention of quickly selling them off, have been identified as priorities by Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.
Washington Post Oct 30, 2005 The End of Pensions
QUOTE: For the U.A.W., Miller noted forlornly, "30 and Out" - 30 years to retirement - became a rallying cry. Eventually, the union got what it wanted, and workers who started on the assembly line after high school found they could retire by their early 50's. "These pensions were created when we all used to work until age 70 and then poop out at 72," Miller told me. "Now if you live past 80, a not-uncommon demographic, you're going to be taking benefits for longer than you are working. That social contract is under severe pressure."
New York Times Aug 13, 2005 Grassley Seeks Medicare Data On Response To Complaints: Overseers of Quality Control Criticized for Laxity, Secrecy
QUOTE: ...when complaints are reviewed... patients have less than a 1-in-4 chance of having them confirmed. Many of Medicare's decades-old rules governing QIO investigations are shrouded in secrecy and appear to favor physicians.
Washington Post Jul 01, 2005 FDA Was Told of Viagra, Blindness Link Months Ago
QUOTE: More than 13 months before a scientific journal reported that Viagra had been linked to a rare form of blindness in some men, a Food and Drug Administration safety officer made the same observation...
Washington Post Jun 08, 2005 Senators Question Conservancy's Practices: End to 'Insider' and 'Side' Deals by Nonprofit Organizations is Urged
QUOTE: ...two-year investigation...questions whether the charity's actions at times may have been "inconsistent" with the policy underlying federal tax laws.
Washington Post Jun 08, 2005 Drug Safety Panel Is Criticized: Efforts to Protect Consumers at Risk, Say Senator, FDA Official
QUOTE: ...new drug safety board established by the Food and Drug Administration...will actually set back efforts to improve the safety of the medications Americans take and will not make it any easier to take dangerous drugs off the market...
Washington Post Apr 14, 2005 Senate Committee Approves Greater Protections for Whistle-Blowers
QUOTE: ...the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved a bipartisan bill that supporters hope will encourage employees to step forward when they spot wrongdoing in government offices.
Washington Post Mar 08, 2005 Report Says Medicaid Overpays for Drugs
QUOTE: Federal health officials are not enforcing a law that requires drug companies to cut their prices on drugs bought for poor people under Medicaid...
New York Times Feb 23, 2005 Access to Memos Is Affirmed: Classified Status Can't Be Changed
QUOTE: The Justice Department has backed away from a court battle over its authority to classify and restrict the discussion of information it has already released...
Washington Post Nov 19, 2004 FDA Officer Suggests Strict Curbs on 5 Drugs: Makers Dispute Claims About Health Risks
QUOTE: Describing the agency he works for as incapable of stopping dangerous drugs from entering and staying on the market, David J. Graham, associate director of the Office of Drug Safety, told the senators that the FDA's role in reviewing and approving new drugs sometimes conflicts with its duty to address safety issues.
Washington Post Nov 18, 2004 FDA Is Flexing Less Muscle: Some Question Its Relationship With Drugmakers
QUOTE: In the past four years, the Food and Drug Administration has taken a noticeably less aggressive approach toward policing drugs that cause harmful side effects...
Washington Post Nov 14, 2004 Despite Warnings, Drug Giant Took Long Path to Vioxx Recall
QUOTE: Merck decided not to conduct a study solely to determine whether Vioxx might cause heart attacks and strokes - the type of study that outside scientists would repeatedly call for as clinical evidence continued to show cardiovascular risks from the drug.
New York Times Jul 21, 2004 Agencies Fail to Share Data With IRS: GAO Says Tax Violators Often Escape Notice
QUOTE: GAO investigators found that agents with the immigration bureau did not bother to check whether the applicants complied with U.S. tax law.
Washington Post Jul 16, 2004 Treasury Dept. Picks KPMG as Auditor: Firm's Tax Shelters Under Investigation
QUOTE: The Treasury Department has tapped KPMG LLP as the first private firm to audit the agency's consolidated financial statements, even as the Treasury and Justice departments probe the accounting giant's marketing of potentially abusive tax shelters.
Washington Post Jul 13, 2004 IRS Lawyers' Compensation Draws Criticism
QUOTE: "I'm worried that these sweeping, big bonuses are really just designed to circumvent the federal pay scale system," Grassley said. "I'm also worried that the IRS isn't being a good steward of the taxpayers' money when it takes money meant to reward only the top performers and gives it to nearly everyone."
Washington Post Jul 06, 2004 Senate Republicans Seek to Limit Class-Action Suits
QUOTE: In a confrontation of powerful political interests, the battle pits the business groups, which tend to support Republicans, against trial lawyers and consumer, civil rights and environmental groups that work more closely with Democrats. Business interests contribute heavily to Republican campaigns, while trial lawyers are a major source of campaign money for Democrats.
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