Competition, innovation and a level playing field are key ingredients to a thriving marketplace that is fair to creators and consumers alike. Senator Grassley promotes these ideals by strengthening antitrust laws, safeguarding intellectual property, combatting counterfeiters and cutting red tape. He also works to reduce frivolous litigation and to ensure the bankruptcy code works for all Americans who fall on hard times.
Senator Grassley uses his seniority on the Senate Finance and Judiciary committees to fight anti-competitive business practices that limit competition, consumer choice and affordability. For example, he’s scrutinized consolidation in the agribusiness sector and raised concerns about reduced market opportunities, possible anti-competitive and predatory business practices, vertical integration and fewer competitors.
Senator Grassley is a leader in promoting competition and fighting abuses in the health care industry to address high prescription drug prices for patients. He’s led successful efforts to combat anti-competitive and predatory business practices by brand-name and generic drug makers that keep more affordable medications off the market, to the detriment of patients and taxpayers. Senator Grassley has also authored legislation protecting whistleblowers who shine a light on violations of antitrust laws.
As co-chair of the Congressional Trademark Caucus, Senator Grassley is a strong supporter of intellectual property rights and rewarding innovation. He’s worked to strengthen our intellectual property system, celebrate innovation and prevent abuse. From expanding access to literary works to the blind and visually impaired community around the world to streamlining the music royalty regime that recognizes the contributions of songwriters, producers, engineers and others, Senator Grassley has worked to foster an environment that respects and rewards creativity. He’s also authored legislation to encourage innovation and the use of patented technology to address humanitarian needs.
Senator Grassley engages in vigorous oversight of intellectual property thieves and economic espionage. He’s led investigations into counterfeiters’ exploitation of e-commerce platforms and warned of foreign threats to U.S. research and innovation. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Senator Grassley convened a two-part hearing on protecting the U.S. medical supply chain as scammers pushed knockoff medical supplies.
Senator Grassley has long fought for a more transparent and accountable regulatory system. American businesses, entrepreneurs and farmers should not be blindsided by new regulations, but rather should have a seat at the table when critical policymaking decisions are made. His Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act would prohibit secret settlement agreements between agencies and interest groups, which effectively create more regulations without the benefit of public input. He praised the Trump administration EPA for prohibiting these unaccountable “sue and settle” practices.
Senator Grassley supports legislation that stops bureaucrats from dictating to judges how to interpret laws passed by Congress. Since the Supreme Court’s 1984 decision in Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council, courts generally must defer to an agency’s interpretation of a statute so long as the statute is “ambiguous” and the agency’s reading is “permissible.” Commonly known as Chevron deference, this represents the judiciary’s abandonment of its proper role under the Constitution, giving agencies the power to stretch their authorities well beyond what Congress ever intended. The Separation of Powers Restoration Act requires that courts decide for themselves “all relevant questions of law,” thus restoring the judiciary’s proper role and fighting back against administrative overreach.
Senator Grassley has long fought for a fairer and less burdensome civil justice system. When consumers have suffered a wrong, they should not be further harmed by unscrupulous lawyers looking to cash-in through unreasonable fees and other schemes. In 2005, Senator Grassley successfully steered his Class Action Fairness Act into law, ushering in the most significant and pro-consumer reforms in history to the nation’s class action system. As Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Senator Grassley convened a hearing to examine the impact of lawsuit abuse on American small businesses. He continues to advocate for commonsense reforms to our civil justice system, including mandatory sanctions to deter frivolous lawsuits and disclosure of secretive third-party litigation finance agreements.
During his time in the Senate, Senator Grassley has worked to ensure the integrity of the bankruptcy system and that it works for all Americans. As chairman of the Senate Finance Committee in 2005, Senator Grassley authored the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA), which cracks down on abuse of the bankruptcy system.
Senator Grassley has also worked to make sure the bankruptcy system works for small businesses and family farmers. In 2019, his Small Business Reorganization Act (SBRA) became law, amending chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code to make it easier for small businesses to navigate the bankruptcy process and reduce unnecessary procedural burdens. In 1986, following the farm crisis of the 1980s, Senator Grassley led the effort to establish a bankruptcy system that recognized the unique needs of family farmers, and later pushed to make the system permanent. In 2019, his Family Farmer Relief Act became law, updating the 1986 law and raising the operating debt cap to allow more family farms to qualify for chapter 12 bankruptcy proceedings.