By: Ted Cruz
Last week, Democratic Senate candidate Bruce Braley questioned whether a “farmer who never went to law school” had the chops to take on a leadership role in Washington D.C.
Well, let me tell you something. Washington would be a lot better off if we had more farmers in Congress and a lot fewer trial lawyers.
I’m a constitutional lawyer who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and in my opinion Chuck Grassley – that Iowa farmer whom Braley was denigrating – would make an outstanding chairman of that committee.
Sen. Grassley is a champion for the American people, and his work holding the executive branch accountable, protecting Second Amendment rights, and fighting the unfair and unconstitutional exemption Congress gave itself from Obamacare is well regarded on Capitol Hill and beyond.
I know from working alongside Sen. Grassley he’s exactly the kind of government watchdog the American people need. As Ranking Member of the committee, he’s perfected a tenacious brand of oversight, implementing important anti-fraud tools, promoting transparency, and keeping an eagle eye out for anyone who may try to cheat the taxpayer.
I’ve also worked with him directly on several pressing matters, and I’ve seen first-hand how effective he is.
Together, we’ve advocated for an important bipartisan proposal to reform the military’s protocol for prosecuting sexual assault, to better protect the men and women serving in our armed forces. Garnering support from the Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee was critical to advancing this issue. His opinion carries real weight in the U.S. Senate.
In the aftermath of the illegal IRS targeting scandal, he cosponsored two pieces of legislation with me to prohibit IRS employees from targeting individuals or groups based on political views and to amend the tax code to use the independent FEC’s definition to determine whether an organization is engaging in political activity.
And, when members of the Senate took up an ill-advised comprehensive immigration plan, Sen. Grassley helped lead a contingent of conservatives, myself included, in opposing the bill that was negotiated behind closed doors with special interests that would ultimately make our already-flawed immigration system worse.
His persistence in forcing the Obama Administration to disclose the facts behind the dangerously bungled Fast and Furious gun walking scandal is especially admirable. Sen. Grassley spearheaded the first congressional investigation into complaints an ATF field office was using straw buyers to funnel guns to the Mexican drug cartel.
Thanks to Sen. Grassley, the Obama Administration’s attempts to silence whistleblowers were exposed. Although the Obama Administration repeatedly denied participating in “gun walking,” the investigations led by Sen. Grassley showed the American public the truth.
At the same time, Sen. Grassley has worked diligently to protect Second Amendment rights. In the aftermath of Sandy Hook, I was honored to work with him to produce a commonsense, comprehensive plan that focused on keeping guns out of the hands of violent criminals.
Indeed, the Grassley-Cruz legislation had the most bipartisan support of all the comprehensive gun proposals; Democrats cast nine of the 52 yes votes.
Sen. Grassley took another bold stand by working to remove the unfair and unconstitutional congressional exemption for Obamacare, too.
Despite the outcry from many of his Senate colleagues, he forced the matter to a public vote. Every single Democrat in the U.S. Senate voted to keep their special exemption from the law, showcasing how out-of-touch the creators of Obamacare really are.
That measure is simply known as the “Grassley amendment” because everyone knows Sen. Grassley is the man who insisted that our nation’s lawmakers not hold themselves above the law. He is one of the rare people in Washington who still believes Congress should live under the same laws it passes for the rest of the country.
He understands the secrecy, special exemptions, loopholes, and increasingly imperial nature of the federal government is tearing this country apart.
The biggest political divide in America is not between Republicans and Democrats. It’s between Washington and the rest of America.
We need more people like Sen. Grassley who rely on good, old-fashioned commonsense than those who depend on an army of accountants, lawyers, and lobbyists to get their way in Washington.
That’s why I’d venture that if any Republican had to choose between a trial lawyer and a farmer, they’d pick the farmer. I would.
Sen. Cruz (R-Texas) is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights.
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