Senator Chuck Grassley visits Johnson Machine Works

Sen. Chuck Grassley (left) listens to the concerns of Human Resources (HR) Manager Randy Westman (middle), President Shawn Garton (front right), and Vice President and CFO Brian Frank (back right) during his tour of Johnson Machine Works. (Sharon Wilhite photo)

Senator Chuck Grassley may be 86 years old, but he isn’t sitting around in a Lazy Boy recliner taking it easy! Senator Grassley, as Senate president pro tempore, may be 3rd in the presidential line of succession, but he still takes much time to visit and listen to the concerns of his Iowa constituents.

When the Senate is in session in Washington D.C., Grassley sets aside eight 15-minute meetings every Monday through Thursday just to speak with Iowans visiting the capital. He cares about what they have to say and works hard to represent them. In fact, Senator Grassley continues to hold the record for the longest period of service in the United States Senate without missing a vote.

When he is not in session, he is actively visiting each of Iowa’s 99 counties. He was able to be in Iowa for two weeks in July because of the July 4th holiday week and the previously scheduled break for the Democratic Convention that was later canceled. Monday, July 13, marked his 34th county visit of 2020 when he toured Johnson Machine Works in Chariton and then held a question and answer session in their meeting room. Afterwards, he was slated to visit Corydon, Leon, and Osceola. Grassley stated that he likes to visit a cross section of the public (schools, hospitals, factories, rotary clubs, etc.) for his town meetings instead of just hearing from the political activists at the courthouse. No question was deemed inappropriate to ask him.

The following are excerpts from questions asked and Senator Grassley’s replies.

Q: What’s going on in Washington right now? Are we in a place to make things happen?

A: In the next three weeks we will be making more decisions regarding the pandemic and the economy but not as much as previously. I don’t blame you for saying the word “gridlock” because there’s plenty of it. Remember, though, that there is more gridlock in the Senate because of the 60-vote requirement to stop debate, which is hard when there’s not a definite majority unlike the House. You can’t ignore the minority in the United States Senate.

Statement: Senator, Lucas County Health Center was one of the only hospitals in the area that did not have to furlough or lay anyone off during the Covid crisis. Thank you for your support.

Response: There was some confusion in Washington over what kind of hospitals would qualify for government help. I’m not sure how it all got worked out, but it did.

Read the July 21, 2020 edition of the Chariton Leader/Herald-Patriot for the rest of the story.

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