Click here for Senator Grassley’s work exposing the VA’s misleading wait times for veterans at Des Moines and Iowa City facilities.
Click here for information on Senator Grassley’s bipartisan bill to combat the spread of dangerous synthetic drugs.
New approach to controlling dangerous drugs: Grassley, Feinstein proposal is a positive step to quickly address spread of chemically altered synthetic drugs
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and ranking member Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., are proposing a new — and, in our view, long overdue — approach to fighting the spread of deadly synthetic drugs.
As the senators noted, illicit drug makers and traffickers are able to circumvent current laws prohibiting the unauthorized use of controlled substances by altering a single atom or molecule in a laboratory to create a new, yet significantly similar substance, not yet outlawed. This allows them to — outside the reach of existing law — make, market and move substances that are intended to have the same effect as controlled drugs.
Grassley and Feinstein, leaders of the International Narcotics Control caucus, offered the legislation as a means of exploring new and innovative solutions to combating the rise of synthetic drugs, which have also contributed to and worsened the opioid epidemic with the widespread availability of analogues of the controlled substance fentanyl.
The SISTA proposal is reminiscent of the age-old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We see its approval as a common-sense, positive step in helping control the spread of deadly synthetic drugs.
Grassley holds VA’s feet to the fire: Finds that ongoing scandal affects veterans in Hawkeye State
Is there no end to the dishonesty and shoddy treatment of those who served our country by bureaucrats at the Department of Veterans Affairs?
Apparently not. In late February, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee asked VA officials about how long veterans were kept waiting for help at the agency’s hospitals in Iowa. No one had been on a wait-list for more than 90 days, lawmakers were assured.
Then someone blew the whistle on the liars. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, is furious. He is doubly angry, first because VA officials lied to the committee he chairs and second because his constituents were affected.
Grassley and 13 other senators want to know why, during the past two years, fewer than six VA employees involved in the original scandal have been fired.
Veterans deserve better access to health care
You’d think a U.S. senator who chairs one of the chamber’s most powerful committees could get reliable, accurate information about a federal agency’s operations.
But back in February, officials with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs told Sen. Chuck Grassley’s Judiciary Committee that no veterans were currently waiting more than 90 days for care at Iowa’s two VA medical centers.
Now, according to a whistleblower’s data that Grassley says has been confirmed by the VA as accurate, it’s clear that well over 1,000 veterans had been waiting more than 90 days for an appointment. At the Iowa City VA, 537 veterans had been waiting 91 to 180 days; an additional 539 veterans had been waiting 181 days to a year; and 232 veterans had wait time of between one and two years.
Grassley isn’t buying that explanation, and it’s easy to see why. Wait times are extraordinarily easy to quantify, and the long-running, highly publicized national scandal over these wait times should have made it abundantly clear what sort of information the committee was seeking.
Grassley and other Republicans are backing a bill that would increase the VA's ability to terminate employees and prevent them from remaining on the government payroll while appealing their dismissal. That bill could help, but only if the VA recognizes and acknowledges its failings and then takes steps to correct the problems — as opposed to simply covering them up.