On Friday, May 31, Senator Grassley toured the Lucas County Health Center and then stayed for a question and answer session in the Education Room. LCHC CEO, Brian Sims, led the hospital tour accompanied by various hospital officials and board members. The group ended their tour in the physical therapy area in the basement level of the hospital.
It was standing room only as hospital personnel and local citizens crowded into the LCHC Education Room. Senator Grassley seated himself and graciously took the time to answer health-related questions and then opened the floor for questions on any topic.
He began by stating that even though he has been elected President Pro Tem of the Senate, his first responsibility is still to represent his state of Iowa. The senator then gave a lesson in government explaining the order of leadership as set forth in the Constitution-President, Vice President, Speaker of the House, and President Pro Tem of the Senate.
The office of President Pro Tem was initiated when Nixon was Vice President and didn’t want to spend a lot of time presiding over the Senate where he didn’t have a lot of power except to break a tie when one occurred. So now, the President Pro Tem does everything a Vice President does during sessions of Senate when the VP is not there.
It’s more of a ministerial function as opposed to a discretionary (power to make decisions) function. Grassley admitted that it is time consuming but not as much as you would think, just additional functions. His daily duties are basically the same. He opens the Senate at 9:30 or 10:00 every morning, introducing the chaplain to give the prayer and giving the pledge of allegiance. Then a young senator will come up and start presiding while he goes about his other duties. These duties include signing every bill before it goes to the President of the United States.
Before opening up the floor for questions, Senator Grassley explained that he wasn’t in Washington as it was a holiday week. He came to the hospital because a lot of workers in the health care business wouldn’t be able to attend his town meetings during his 99 counties tour of Iowa. If anyone’s question wasn’t answered, he encouraged him or her to e-mail him with his or her concerns.
Read the June 6, 2019 edition of the Chariton Herald-Patriot for the rest of the story.