Chuck Grassley

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Chuck Grassley
Chuck Grassley.jpg
U.S. Senate, Iowa
In office
Term ends
January 3, 2017
Years in position 34
PredecessorJohn C. Culver (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 2, 2010
First electedNovember 4, 1980
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Campaign $$15,339,671
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
U.S. House of Representatives
Iowa House of Representatives
Bachelor'sUniversity of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls
Master'sUniversity of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls
Date of birthSeptember 17, 1933
Place of birthNew Hartford, Iowa
Net worth$2,565,038
Office website
Campaign website
Charles Ernest "Chuck" Grassley (b. September 17, 1933 in New Hartford, Iowa) is a Republican member of the U.S. Senate from the state of Iowa. Grassley was first elected to the Senate in 1980.[1]

He previously was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1975 to 1981 and a member of the Iowa House of Representatives from 1959 to 1974.[1]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Grassley is an average Republcian member of Congress, meaning he will vote with the Republcian Party on the majority of bills.


Grassley was born in 1933 in New Hartford, Iowa, where he also attended high school. He earned a B.A. in 1955 from Iowa State Teachers College (now University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls), as well as an M.A. in 1956 from the same institution. Grassley also pursued graduate work in political science at the University of Iowa, Iowa City from 1957-58. He served in the Iowa House of Representatives from 1959-74, and in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1974-80 before being elected to the Senate.[2]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Grassley's political career:[3]

  • Iowa House of Representatives, 1959-1975
  • U.S. House of Representatives, 1975-1981
  • U.S. Senate, 1981-Present

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Grassley serves on the following Senate committees[4]:

  • Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry
    • Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, Poultry, Marketing and Agriculture Security
    • Subcommittee on Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Food and Agricultural Research
    • Subcommittee on Jobs, Rural Economic Growth and Energy Innovation
  • Committee on the Budget
  • Committee on Finance
    • The Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness
    • The Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure
    • The Subcommittee on Healthcare
  • Committee on the Judiciary
    • Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security
    • Bankruptcy and the Courts subcommittee
    • Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights subcommittee


Grassley serves on the following Senate committees[5]:


Senate Judiciary Committee

Grassley was first appointed to the Senate Judiciary Committee shortly after being first sworn into the Senate in 1981.[6] Grassley is the second-longest tenured Republican on the committee since 2009 and one of six non-lawyer members on the committee. Also, Grassley is the longest tenured non-lawyer member on the committee, and tied with Arlen Specter as the third longest tenured members of the committee with 28 years of service.

Grassley serves on the Senate Judiciary Subcommittees on Administrative Oversight and the Courts, Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, Crime and Drugs, and Immigration, Refugees and Border Security.[7]

Sotomayor hearings

Senator Grassley's background as a farmer makes him one of the leading property rights advocates and experts on the Senate Judiciary Committee. During the 2009 confirmation hearings of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, Grassley questioned the judge intensely on the issue of property rights including the well noted Kelo v. New London case. Senator Grassley expressed serious concerns during the round of questioning towards Judge Sotomayor on the government's use of the "public use" and "public doctrine" doctrines towards eminent domain. Those two doctrines were a common part of the the Kelo case. Also, Grassley had concerns on how Sotomayor would rule to honor state laws that would prohibit states from enacting the Kelo ruling if a certain case came to the Supreme Court.[8]

Didden v. Port Chester was another case that was mentioned during the questioning. This was when a New York man claimed that a property developer illegally took his house away to build a national chain drug store. Sotomayor responded she would uphold the ruling against Didden because Didden did not file the case on-time over the statute of limitations. Sotomayor ruled on that case when she was a judge in the Second Circuit.[8]

Sotomayor told Grassley she would rule against the takings clause citing that the Constitution prohibits taking of land from private property without proper compensation if a similar case like Didden came to the Supreme Court. The now Supreme Court justice said she would look closely at a state based law prohibiting the enactment of the Kelo decision before making a decision on the legality of the law if it came to the nation's highest court.[8]

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "No" Grassley voted against the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. He was one of five Republicans that voted against the bill. The bill was passed in the Senate by a 89/8 vote on January 1, 2013.[9]

Drones filibuster

See also: Rand Paul filibuster of John Brennan's CIA Nomination in March 2013

On March 6, 2013, Senator Rand Paul (R) led a 13-hour filibuster of President Obama's CIA Director nominee, John Brennan. Paul started the filibuster in order to highlight his concerns about the administration's drone policies. In particular, Paul said he was concerned about whether a drone could be used to kill an American citizen within the United States border, without any due process involved. Paul and other civil liberties activists criticized President Obama for not offering a clear response to the question. A total of 14 senators joined Paul in the filibuster -- 13 Republicans and one Democrat.[10][11][12]

According to the website Breitbart, Grassley was one of 30 Republican senators who did not support the filibuster.[13][14]

The day after the filibuster, Attorney General Eric Holder sent a letter to Paul, responding to the filibuster. Holder wrote, "Does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on U.S. soil? The answer to that is no."[15]



U.S. Senate, Iowa General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngChuck Grassley Incumbent 64.4% 718,215
     Democratic Roxanne Conlin 33.3% 371,686
     Libertarian John Heiderscheit 2.3% 25,290
Total Votes 1,115,191

Full history

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Grassley is available dating back to 2004. Based on available campaign finance records, Grassley raised a total of $15,339,671 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 3, 2013.[20]

Chuck Grassley's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2010 U.S. Senate (Iowa) Won $7,701,183
2004 U.S. Senate (Iowa) Won $7,638,488
Grand Total Raised $15,339,671


Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Grassley is a "rank-and-file Republican," as of June 21, 2013.[21]

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Grassley missed 36 of 11,157 roll call votes from Jan 1981 to Mar 2013. This amounts to 0.3%, which is better than the median of 1.7% among currently serving senators as of March 2013.[22]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Grassley paid his congressional staff a total of $2,621,953 in 2011. He ranks 13th on the list of the lowest paid Republican Senatorial Staff Salaries and he ranks 56 overall of the lowest paid Senatorial Staff Salaries in 2011. Overall, Iowa ranks 26th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[23]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by - The Center for Responsive Politics, Grassley's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $1,258,076 and $3,872,000. That averages to $2,565,038, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican Senators in 2011 of $6,358,668. His average net worth decreased by 19.40% from 2010.[24]


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by - The Center for Responsive Politics, Grassley's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $1,654,082 and $4,711,000. That averages to $3,182,541, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican Senators in 2010 of $7,054,258.[25]

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings


Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of congress voted in the previous year. Grassley ranked 25th in the conservative rankings in 2012.[26]


Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of congress voted in the previous year. Grassley ranked 20th in the conservative rankings among U.S. Senators.[27]

Voting with party


Chuck Grassley voted with the Republican Party 91.5% of the time, which ranked 10th among the 46 Senate Republican members as of June 2013.[28]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Chuck + Grassley + Iowa + Senate

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

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Grassley has been married to his wife Barbara Ann (nee Speicher) since 1954. They have five children: Lee, Wendy, Robin, Michele, and Jay.[29]

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Bioguide "Chuck Grassley" Accessed June 21, 2013
  2. Biographical Guide to Members of Congress "Chuck Grassley," Accessed October 13, 2011
  3. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress "Charles Ernest Grassley," Accessed October 18, 2011
  4. Congressional Quarterly "Senate Committee List" Accessed January 22, 2013
  5. Official Senate website "Committee Assignments," Accessed October 13, 2011
  6. "Senate Judiciary Committee" List of past members(See 97th to 109th Congresses of the US)
  7. "Senate Judiciary Committee" List of Subcommittees
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "Washington Post" Transcript of Senator Grassley's Questioning of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, July 14, 2009
  9. U.S. Senate "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  10. CNN, "Rand Paul says he's heard from White House after filibuster," March 7, 2013
  11. USA Today, "Rand Paul filibuster ranks among Senate's longest," March 7, 2013
  12. ABC News, "Rand Paul wins applause from GOP and liberals," March 7, 2013
  13. Breitbart, "AWOL: Meet the GOP senators who refused to stand with Rand," March 7, 2013
  14. Politico, "Rand Paul filibuster blasted by Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham," March 7, 2013
  15. Washington Post, "Eric Holder responds to Rand Paul with ‘no’," March 7, 2013
  16. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1998," accessed March 28, 2013
  17. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1992," accessed March 28, 2013
  18. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 1986," accessed March 28, 2013
  19. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 1980," accessed March 28, 2013
  20. Open Secrets "Chuck Grassley" Accessed April 3, 2013
  21. Gov Track "Chuck Grassley," Accessed June 21, 2013
  22. GovTrack, "Chuck Grassley," Accessed March 29, 2013
  23. LegiStorm "Chuck Grassley"
  24., "Grassley, (R-Iowa), 2011"
  25., "Grassley, (R-IA), 2010"
  26. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 28, 2013
  27. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: Senate," February 23, 2012
  28. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  29. Official Senate website "At A Glance," Accessed October 13, 2011
Political offices
Preceded by
John Culver
U.S. Senate - Iowa
Succeeded by