Having cast his 10,000th vote in the United States Senate earlier this year, Senator Chuck Grassley has undoubtedly agonized over which way to vote on a number of issues during his career in the U.S. Senate. However, as Grassley gears up to run for his sixth term in the United States Senate, he has never felt as much heat from Iowans as he has had to deal with recently. Surprisingly, almost all of the angst towards Grassley is coming from fellow Republicans over the issue of health care reform.
To his credit, Sen. Grassley gives every judicial nominee or piece of legislation a fair hearing before deciding how he is going to vote on an issue. That sort of discipline has served Grassley well in the Senate and has made him one of its most respected and powerful members.
During Judge Sotomayor’s hearing in front of the judiciary committee on which Grassley serves, many Iowa Republicans wanted him to oppose her from the get go. Instead, Grassley allowed her to state her case in front of the committee before making a judgment on her qualifications. Grassley was unsatisfied with Judge Sotomayor’s answers to his questions, and shortly thereafter, he announced that he would be voting against her.
Grassley didn’t just say he was voting against President Obama’s nominee, he released a powerful statement on why he would not vote to confirm Sotomayor. In the statement, Grassley even showed remorse for voting to confirm Judge David Souter. Grassley’s comment on Judge Souter provided a level of insight and perspective that Iowans don’t typically get from their elected officials, let alone Sen. Grassley.
For weeks now, many Iowa Republicans have grown tired of Sen. Grassley’s willingness to listen to those in the Obama Administration about the President’s healthcare proposal. Republicans don’t want to see Sen. Grassley hammer out some sort of compromise with the Democrats; they just want him to get up from the table and walk away. They simply want him to vote against Obama’s healthcare proposal.
The longer Sen. Grassley strings along Iowa Republicans, the more difficult his re-election effort may become. At the beginning of the year, it would have been absurd to suggest that Sen. Grassley could face a legitimate primary challenge. Now, with each and every passing day that Grassley flirts with supporting some version of health care reform, the possibility of a primary challenge grows. In fact, some Republican sources have told TheIowaRepublican.com that if Sen. Grassley votes for President Obama’s healthcare proposal, Grassley will indeed face a serious primary challenge.
For now, the ball is in Sen. Grassley’s court. If Grassley takes a strong, principled stand against Obama’s healthcare proposal similar to the one he took against Judge Sotomayor or his recent statement about former President Bill Clinton’s visit to North Korea, Grassley will be able to put all of this behind him quickly. However, if he ignores the loud and constant pleas from the Republican faithful begging him to just say no to Obama’s health care proposal, he should expect nothing less than a stiff primary challenge.
Sen. Grassley recently launched a new campaign website. The site has a new, fresh look and utilizes all of the modern social networking sites. The site, www.GrassleyforSenate.com, doesn’t yet have any information on the Senator’s position on various issues.
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