As a senior member of the Senate Budget Committee, and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Grassley plays a key role in mapping out the federal government’s revenue and spending blueprint. After Congress adopts the budget resolution for the coming fiscal year, lawmakers then must determine how to raise revenue and spend tax dollars that will fit within the blueprint. Senator Grassley uses his position on these committees to advocate for responsible fiscal policies that promote growth, provide certainty and safeguard Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars.
In his role as a member of the Senate Budget Committee, Senator Grassley has taken action to improve efficiency in government operations and in the budget process. Senator Grassley co-sponsored, this year, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Enzi’s Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Vision Act, to update the CFO Act of 1990 to improve financial and performance data in the federal government and increase accountability in government programs and operations. Regarding the federal budget process, Senator Grassley has also co-sponsored Chairman Enzi’s Bipartisan Congressional Budget Reform Act, which is a package of budget process reforms that were approved on a bipartisan basis by the Budget Committee in 2019. Those bipartisan reforms are the result of years of effort to improve the federal budget process in a way that encourages long-term planning, responsible budget assumptions and an end to brinkmanship surrounding the federal debt limit. The federal debt, now approaching $30 trillion, threatens opportunities of future generations. The bipartisan budget reforms backed by Senator Grassley provide a framework for helping restore fiscal balance to the federal government.
As a two-time Chairman of the tax-writing Finance Committee, Senator Grassley helped steer through Congress the landmark 2001 and 2003 tax relief laws that lowered marginal tax rates, creating a first-ever 10-percent bracket. He has continued this work on tax reform, culminating in his leading role in enacting the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which provided significant tax relief to middle-income taxpayers, while making the tax code simpler, fairer, and more pro-growth.
Senator Grassley is a consistent advocate for renewable energy. He has worked, through his position on the Finance Committee, to enact key incentives that have led to the vibrant wind energy industry across Iowa as well as the success of biodiesel. This helps level the playing field for conventional fuel supplies while reducing our dependence on foreign-energy sources and creating jobs in rural America. Senator Grassley successfully guided the bipartisan package of expiring tax provisions through Congress in December 2019 as part of the Consolidated Domestic and International Assistance Act, which included an extension of the biodiesel credit through 2022.
Throughout his tenure on the Finance Committee, Senator Grassley has continued his crusade to ferret out tax avoidance schemes and shelters, plug the $381 billion tax gap, and establish a program to encourage whistleblowers to help improve compliance with the tax laws. His recent efforts to call out tax shelters include a year-long bipartisan investigation of potentially abusive syndicated conservation easements, which he exposed in August 2020. Additionally, after years of bipartisan work, Senator Grassley authored the Taxpayer First Act, which was signed into law in July of 2019, to reform the IRS and transform it into a service-first agency through a comprehensive customer service strategy and expansion of the IRS’ ability to combat tax-ID theft.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic that gripped the nation in 2020, Senator Grassley developed key portions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to promote the economic health and safety as the nation battled a public health and resulting economic crises. The CARES Act, was designed to help families get through the challenges posed by local stay-at-home orders and temporary business closures. The legislation also provides relief for businesses struggling to maintain operations and pay staff despite the changing economic circumstances. This includes a refundable employee retention credit and provisions to help defray some operating costs and improve cash flow.
Senator Grassley will continue promoting a responsible federal budget as well as pro-growth tax, regulatory and other policies as the economy recovers and safely moves back to the remarkably strong path that those policies helped produce.