Grassley Nominated to Serve as Finance Committee Chairman
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa was nominated today by his majority-party colleagues on the Senate Finance Committee to serve as chairman for the 116th Congress. Following this nomination, committees will officially form on Wednesday, January 9, 2019, after committee leadership nominations are ratified and then passed by the entire U.S. Senate. Grassley announced in November, 2018, that he would opt to serve as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee after four years as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“This nomination is not only an honor and a privilege, but a responsibility I take seriously,” Grassley said. “For far too long, increases in prescription drug prices and health care generally have been causing tremendous difficulties for Americans. In addition to costs, there are other barriers to access to affordable, quality health care. Those barriers are felt acutely in rural and other underserved areas. The Senate Finance Committee has broad jurisdiction to improve access to affordable health care. I intend to use those authorities.
“As President Trump continues to seek more fair and balanced trade deals – and with considerable success so far with Canada, Mexico and South Korea – it’s important that no American worker, farmer or business owner is forgotten or left out of the process. Implementing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement and working with the Administration as it negotiates with China, Europe, Japan and the United Kingdom will be top priorities for me this year, as well as ensuring that Congress fulfills its constitutional role in crafting and reviewing U.S. trade policy.
“The most significant reform of the nation’s tax code in a generation has made U.S. companies and workers more competitive with their counterparts in other developed countries around the world. Unfortunately, some in Congress are looking to undo the progress made and chip away at the new opportunities this economy is providing for Americans of all stripes. I’ll work with my colleagues in good faith to make permanent these gains so American businesses, workers and families don’t see their taxes raised or jobs threatened. Taxpayers should know they will have an advocate working for them at the helm of the Senate’s tax-writing panel.
“I’ll always be looking for ways to use the committee’s broad jurisdiction for the benefit of Iowans and Americans everywhere. I look forward to meeting my colleagues on the committee and working with my Democratic counterpart, Sen. Ron Wyden, to hear what their priorities are for the new Congress and where we can work together to make real progress for the nation.”
Grassley introduced health care legislation with every Democratic Member of the Senate Finance Committee during the 115th Congress. Every single bill passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee under Grassley’s four years of leadership was bipartisan. Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon is expected to serve as the Senate Finance Committee’s ranking member.
In November and December of last year, Grassley laid out his priorities for his chairmanship of the Senate Finance Committee in a series of speeches on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Grassley’s speech outlining his health care policy priorities can be found here, his trade policy priorities can be found here and his tax policy priorities can be found here.
Grassley also announced his permanent health policy staff in December. Remaining staff announcements will be made in the coming days.
Grassley previously served as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee from January 2001 to June 2001 and from January 2003 to January 2007. He also served as ranking member from June 2001 to January 2003 and from January 2007 to January 2011. Senate Republican Conference rules limit service as chairman and ranking member to six years or three Congresses for each role. Grassley is eligible to serve as chairman of the Finance Committee for one additional Congress. Grassley has served as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee since January 2015 and previously served as ranking member from January 2011 to January 2015. Grassley is eligible to serve as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee for one additional Congress and as ranking member for another Congress.
Republican Finance Committee Members for the 116th Congress:
Chuck Grassley, Iowa
Mike Crapo, Idaho
Pat Roberts, Kansas
Mike Enzi, Wyoming
John Cornyn, Texas
John Thune, South Dakota
Richard Burr, North Carolina
Johnny Isakson, Georgia
Rob Portman, Ohio
Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania
Tim Scott, South Carolina
Bill Cassidy, Louisiana
James Lankford, Oklahoma
Steve Daines, Montana
Todd Young, Indiana