Senate Finance Committee sets agenda

Grassley is a superb choice to head committee; senator has record of working collaboratively with senators of both parties

As the 116th Congress gets underway, U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley has reclaimed a post he held twice previously — chairman of the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Finance. The Iowa Republican led this powerful committee during 2001 and again for four years from 2003 to 2007.

In a statement released Jan. 9 by his office, the senator has set forth an ambitious agenda for committee. Here are some of the highlights:

• Tax policy is a central focus of the Senate Finance Committee. Grassley said he will seek to make the historic tax relief for middle class families enacted in the 115th Congress permanent and explore further tax changes and reforms. He also intends to champion tax incentives to strengthen the renewable and alternate energy industries. That is in sync with his long support for biofuels and wind energy producers in Iowa and across the nation.

• The committee has broad jurisdiction regarding federal government policy affecting health care. Grassley said he views addressing the increasing cost of prescription drugs to be a top priority. He also recognizes that attracting more physicians and other health care providers to rural America and keeping hospitals in smaller communities financially viable should get careful attention.

• Federal trade policy comes within the purview of the Senate Finance Committee. Grassley is strongly committed to seeking trade agreements that limit the restrictions on international commerce. He said he also is in agreement with President Donald Trump that trade pacts must be fair to American companies and workers.

The GOP controls the Senate and Democrats the House of Representative. In the Senate, the existence of the filibuster rule means most legislation won’t pass without both Republican and Democratic votes. Therefore, bipartisanship will be the key to legislative achievements in the new Congress. That makes Grassley a superb choice to head the Senate Finance Committee. His record of working collaboratively with senators of both parties is both impressive and widely respected.

“During my chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee over the past four years, 61 bills were reported out of the committee, 45 were passed by the full Senate and 34 became law. Every single one was bipartisan,” Grassley said. “During my previous chairmanship of the Finance Committee, nearly all legislation passed out of the committee was bipartisan.”

The Messenger is enthused by the game plan Grassley has outlined for the Senate Finance Committee. We strongly believe that he has the expertise and temperament to make the next two years a time of stellar accomplishments for the committee.