Q & A With Senator Grassley
Iowa Senator Charles Grassley fielded questions from area residents at a Town Hall meeting in Emmetsburg recently. The Senator continues his practice of meeting with residents in every Iowa county each year to keep in touch.
“I have a responsibility to promote dialogue and that’s the essence of representative government,” said Grassley. “We’re here to do a face-to-face. The idea is to have communication between those of us that are elected and those that we serve.”
Grassley commented on Fast and Furious. He started the investigation two years and four months ago.
The Senator pointed out that information pertinent to the investigation has been withheld. The President has declared executive privilege on the documents and a judge will make the decision on whether those documents will be made available.
“This is important because this is gun running,” said Grassley. “Our federal government advising licensed gun dealers in Arizona to sell guns illegally with the idea the would follow them across the border. Two thousand guns got sold… It is illegal for the government to do illegal things and we’ve got to get to the bottom of it.”
A question was raised about Eric Holder signing off on the search warrant to obtain information from a Fox News reporter.
“This is just beginning and I can’t give you much of an update on it, but it’s just getting a little bit hotter,” answered Grassley. “It seems that Holder has misled Congress. There are now people on the Judiciary Committee in the House of Representatives looking at the possibility, did he lie to Congress?”
A veteran addressed what happened in Libya, asking “Are we going to get to the bottom of this – find out who gave the stand down order and find out who’s responsible for this?”
Grassley pointed out he is not in the middle of this, like he is with Fast and Furious but he is fully supportive of the investigation.
He noted that Sen. Lindsey Graham is leading the investigation and members of Grassley’s caucus are backing him up.
“Not just his work, but also the work of the whistleblowers that have come forward to testify before the House of Representatives. More has come out in the last two or three weeks. There may be other whistleblowers who will come forward and Sen. Graham wants to interview the three or four people who were still on the scene when the attack happened and weren’t killed.”
Questions on a local level involved funding of community college programs. It was pointed out that Upward Bound was defunded this past year and all of the TRIO?programs will take a five-percent cut due to sequester. and all students beginning 2014 will take a cut in PELL?grants. The Senator was asked to speak to the climate in Washington regarding budgets and sequester cuts.
“Through Oct. 1, they’ll stay the same,” said Grassley.”During the appropriations hearings we’ll go through in July and September, before the new fiscal year is started, they could be moderated, but I don’t know if it will be. If it is moderated with some programs, it needs to be made up someplace else because we do need the $1.2 trillion sequestration that’s going to take place over the next ten years. That’s probably about half of what we should be doing if we want to keep the fiscal integrity of the United States… It’s probably unfair to the programs you’re talking about.”
A question was fielded about pedophiles. The Senator responded that these issues are dealt with on a state level, rather than the federal government.
Other questions covered international banking, IRS agents, Social Security, Obamacare, immigration and internet sales tax.