Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley has a prediction about the thousands of documents Congress has requested from the Justice Department regarding the Fast and Furious scandal. Knowing that the investigation could prove damaging to President Obama’s reelection hopes, Grassley doubts the administration that Obama claimed would be “the most transparent ever” will be very forthcoming.
“I think you’re not going to get any of the information that’s been subpoenaed until the day after the election,” Grassley told TheIowaRepublican.com on Monday.
Senator Grassley has been one of the leaders in Congress investigating the operation that put guns in the hands of Mexican drug cartels and were used in the murder of border agent Brian Terry. The Justice Department has continued to cover up its knowledge and role in Fast and Furious.
It has been proven the Justice Department lied when they claimed to have no knowledge of the program. Only 7,000 of the 130,000 subpoenaed documents have been turned over. Last month, President Obama invoked “executive privilege” to keep the documents secret. Days later, Attorney General Eric Holder was found in contempt of Congress.
“Most of our information is coming from whistleblowers. And we found most of it very accurate,” Grassley said. “We have to get it there because we’re stonewalled by the Justice Department and Holder not giving it to us.”
In the latest development, Senator Grassley is demanding the Justice Department reveal which personnel viewed a memo dated February 3, 2011, that detailed the Fast and Furious “gun-walking” program. That date is significant because on February 4, 2011, in a letter to Grassley, the Justice Department claimed to have no knowledge of Fast and Furious. Nine months later, they admitted the letter was wrong and it was formally retracted.
“If the people that wrote the letter to me, saying there wasn’t anything like Fast and Furious, and they had read this memo, then it’s further proof that it was all an effort to cover up,” Grassley said.
Since there were no votes scheduled in the U.S. Senate on Monday, Grassley made several stops in Polk County. TheIowaRepublican.com caught up with the longtime senator at the Iowa College Access Network in West Des Moines. ICAN is a non-profit that encourages students to pursue a college education and helps them prepare for it.
Following an hour-long meeting with ICAN administrators, staff and representatives from area schools, Grassley chatted with TheIowaRepublican.com about three hot political topics: Fast and Furious, ObamaCare and student loans.
Senator Grassley had high praise for John Roberts during the Supreme Court confirmation process in 2005. He has little praise for the Chief Justice’s decision to uphold ObamaCare.
“I’m very disappointed in Chief Justice Roberts,” Grassley said. “He maybe made a decision that limits government a little bit on the Commerce Clause and maybe saving the states some federal mandates on their Medicaid, but what he didn’t allow to happen under the Commerce Clause can happen under the taxing powers, so you end up at the same place anyway. The government saying you’ve got to do something that maybe you don’t want to do.”
Senator Grassley believes healthcare reform is vital for the U.S., but it is important to keep the bureaucrats out of the doctor-patient relationship and keep costs down. ObamaCare does neither. Grassley says the future of healthcare in this country comes down to this November’s presidential election.
“Basically, if Obama is reelected, it’s going to go on, probably as is,” Grassley said. “If Romney’s elected and he seems to be running on a platform of repeal, I think he made that pretty clear the same day the decision was issued, and he’s elected, it’s going to be repeal and replace. And replace is very important, because nobody’s going to say that the status quo of our healthcare system is ideal.”
The topic of student loans came up during Grassley’s discussion with the folks from the Iowa College Access Network. Coincidentally, student loans are also tied to ObamaCare.
A few days ago, President Obama signed an extension to keep federal student loan rates at their current rate. During the 2008 campaign, Obama promised to do away with guaranteed student loans and have them administered by the federal government at a cheaper rate. The Democrats then used the interest from the loans to help pay for ObamaCare.
“I don’t know whether they’ve saved money, but they built in x number of dollars of profit on those direct student loans that the federal government administered, because they needed x number of dollars to offset the cost of healthcare reform,” Grassley said. “So you have this situation where students are charged for something unrelated to education.”
Senator Grassley’s annual 99-county tour of Iowa is legendary. However, he goes far beyond just visiting 99 counties. His itinerary was packed full of events on Monday. Grassley says it is important for him to learn more about non-profits, businesses and schools in Iowa. Along with his stop at ICAN, Grassley visited with employees at UPS, students and faculty at DMACC in Ankeny and area media on Monday. He returned to Washington, D.C. late in the afternoon.
Photo by Dave Davidson, Prezography.com
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