Iowa’s senators move up

Grassley, Ernst are elected to key leadership posts in the Senate

Iowa’s United States senators have been chosen by their colleagues for key leadership posts in the U.S. Senate.

Sen. Charles Grassley has been nominated by his fellow Republicans to serve as Senate president pro tempore. This is a post created in the U.S. Constitution. It is third in line of succession to the presidency following the U.S. vice president and the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Since 1890, the president pro tempore has by tradition been the majority party senator with the longest continuous service. Grassley was first been elected to the Senate in 1980. He will succeed Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who did not seek re-election this year.

“This is an honor for me and the state of Iowa,” Grassley said in a statement released by his office. “I may only be three heartbeats away from the Oval Office, but my heart is and always will be in Iowa and here in the U.S. Senate, where I’ve worked for the people of Iowa and our nation for 38 years. My commitment to representative government and the deliberative body of the U.S. Senate is stronger than ever. I’ll work to see that we uphold the Senate as a check on the executive and judicial branches of government, including our constitutional authority to provide advice and consent.”

Sen. Joni Ernst was elected this week by her Republican colleagues to be vice chairwoman of the Senate Republican Conference. This makes her part of the Republican leadership team in the Senate for the 116th Congress, which convenes in January. To win this post, Ernst defeated Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb.

To have both Hawkeye State U.S. senators in top leadership roles in the next Congress will make certain that issues of concern to Iowans will be given careful consideration in Washington. Grassley, of course, has long been an influential leader in the Senate. That his voice will be even stronger in the years ahead is good for the nation and for our state. It is also welcome news, however, that his younger colleague is now emerging as a person who is both respected and listened to in the Senate. In securing this leadership role, Ernst has positioned herself well to have major additional leadership assignment far into the future.

The Messenger congratulates Grassley and Ernst on their selection for these new jobs. Their service in Washington has already made Iowans proud. We expect that pride to only grow as they undertakes these new roles.