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Chuck Grassley

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The senior United States Senator from Iowa since 1981.
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Biography

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ENG:  Charles Ernest "Chuck" Grassley (born September 17, 1933) is the senior United States Senator from Iowa (1981–present). A member of Republican Party, he previously served in the served in the United States House of Representatives (1975–1981) and the Iowa state legislature (1959–1974). He was chairman of the Senate Finance Committee from January to June 2001 and from January 2003 to December 2006. He is currently the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee.

 

Early life, education and carrer

Grassley was born in New Hartford, Iowa, the son of Ruth (née Corwin) and Louis Arthur Grassley,and graduated from the town high school. At Iowa State Teachers College (now the University of Northern Iowa), he earned a B.A. in 1955 and an M.A. in 1956. He also completed some doctoral studies in political science at the University of Iowa. Also during the 1950s, Grassley farmed and worked in factories, first as a sheet metal shearer and then as an assembly line worker.

 

Iowa House of Representatives

Grassley represented parts of Butler County in the Iowa House of Representatives from 1959 until 1974, when he was elected to the United States House of Representatives, where he served three terms.

As a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee Grassley has spearheaded many probes into the misuse and accountability of federal money. In July 2007, a Grassley-commissioned report was released claiming that more than US$1 billion in farm subsidies were sent to deceased individuals. Grassley said: "It's unconscionable that the Department of Agriculture would think that a dead person was actively engaged in the business of farming."Since 1976, Grassley has repeatedly introduced measures that increase the level of double taxation on American citizens living abroad, including retroactive tax hikes. Grassley was eventually able to attach an amendment to a piece of legislation that went into effect in 2006, which increased taxes on Americans abroad by targeting housing and living incentives paid by foreign employers and held them accountable for federal taxes, even though they did not currently reside in the United States. Critics of the amendment felt that the move hurt Americans competing for jobs abroad by putting an unnecessary tax burden on foreign employers. Others felt that the move was only to offset the revenue deficit caused by domestic tax cuts of the Bush Administration.In March 2009, amid the scandal involving various AIG executives receiving large salary bonuses from the taxpayer-funded bailout of the corporate giant, Grassley sparked controversy by suggesting that those AIG employees receiving large bonuses should follow the so-called 'Japanese example', resign immediately or commit suicide. After much criticism he has not backed off of those comments, dismissing them as rhetoric.At an August 12, 2009, meeting in Iowa, Senator Grassley supported the claims by health care reform opponents that end-of-life counseling provisions in the House health care bill, H.R. 3200, amounted to government sponsored euthanasia. In response to an audience question about the provision, Grassley said people were right to fear that the government would "pull the plug on grandma." Grassley had previously supported covering end-of-life counseling, having voted for the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, which stated: "The covered services are: evaluating the beneficiary's need for pain and symptom management, including the individual's need for hospice care; counseling the beneficiary with respect to end-of-life issues and care options, and advising the beneficiary regarding advanced care planning."

 

 Controversies

On November 5, 2007, Grassley announced an investigation into the tax-exempt status of six ministries under the leadership of Benny Hinn, Paula White, Eddie L. Long, Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, and Kenneth Copeland by the United States Senate Committee on Finance. In letters to each ministry, Grassley asked for the ministries to divulge specific financial information to the committee to determine whether or not funds collected by each organization were inappropriately utilized by ministry heads. By the December 6, 2007 deadline, only three of the ministries had shown compliance with the Finance Committee's request. On March 11, 2008, Grassley and Finance Chairman Max Baucus sent follow-up letters to Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar and Eddie Long, explaining that the Senate reserved the right to investigate the finances of their organizations under federal tax laws.Responses from these Ministers included Constitutional arguments about Congressional power to oversee such matters. They claim that only the IRS has the authority to request such information, and should the IRS request it or pursue an investigation, the ministries involved would gladly comply.

 

Grassley also began an investigation about unreported payments to physicians by pharmaceutical companies. The New York Times reported that Dr. Joseph Biederman of Harvard University had failed to report over a million dollars of income that he had received from pharmaceutical companies. Weeks later, Business Week reported that Grassley alleged that Alan Schatzberg, chair of psychiatry at Stanford University, had underreported his investments in Corcept Therapeutics, a company he founded. Dr. Schatzberg had reported only $100,000 investments in Corcept, but Grassley stated that his investments actually totalled over $6 million. Dr. Schaztberg later stepped down from his grant which is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Similarly, Dr. Charles Nemeroff resigned as chair of the psychiatry department at Emory University after failing to report a third of the $2.8 million in consulting fees he received from GlaxoSmithKline. At the time he received these fees, Dr. Nemeroff had been principal investigator of a $3.9 million NIH grant evaluating five medications for depression manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline.

 

Political campaigns

Grassley was elected to his Senate seat in 1980, defeating the Democratic incumbent, John Culver. He was reelected in 1986, 1992, 1998, 2004, and 2010.

 

Grassley was being challenged by Democrat Roxanne Conlin, a former U.S. Attorney, and Libertarian John Heiderscheit, an attorney. During the Democratic primary campaign, Bob Krause, a former state legislator, Army veteran and transportation official, said that Grassley's more than half-century in public office is too long. "As a good farmer, Sen. Grassley must recognize that 51 years, or 58 years at the end of his term, is a long time to go without rotating crops," Krause told about 50 supporters in Des Moines.Krause cited Grassley's support in 1999 for legislation that allowed banks and insurance companies to begin offering other investment products. "Please remember that Farmer Grassley was one that opened the barn door and let the cow out at AIG," Krause said.Grassley was unopposed in the Republican primary, although some conservatives said he has drifted "too far to the left".Among those is conservative activist Bill Salier, who said "Grassley was the dominant force and had an enormous amount of loyalty. That has so eroded out from underneath him" during an interview on WHO-AM radio.He won with 64.5% of the vote, Roxanne Conlin getting 33.2% of the vote.

 

Personal

Grassley married Barbara Ann Speicher in September 1954; the couple have five children: Lee, Wendy, Robin, Michele, and Jay. Grassley is a member of The Family, the Christian political organization that organizes the National Prayer Breakfast.

 

In 2009, Grassley received the "Health Policy Hero" award from the National Research Center for Women & Families for his 2004 oversight of legislative reforms and accountability of the U.S. Food and Drug Administr. tion (FDA). Grassley was also named the hardest working member of Congress by The Hill newspaper in June 2010, tied with Max Baucus.

 

 

Source: wikipedia

June 9th, 2011

03.08.2011

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