Grassley Responds

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Senator Chuck Grassley

 

By Pam Reinig

Register Editor

 

The Register last week used social media to gather questions to ask Senator Chuck Grassley during a brief media event in Elkader. We reached out on our Facebook page and email to find out what topics were on our readers’ minds. We had time to present only three questions to the senator, who was in Elkader for a stop at Mobile Track Solutions.

One reader stated her opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline, noting that an leak in the system would pollute our waterways.

“There are millions of miles of pipeline in the U.S. already, and that sort of thing hasn’t happened often,” said Senator Grassley, responding to the question. He added that the pipeline would be safer than transporting oil by rail and that buying oil from Canada, which requires a pipeline, is preferable to buying it from the Middle East.

Another reader asked whether the senator would support a minimum wage of $10 an hour.

“Not when unemployment is as high as it is,” Senator Grassley responded. “According to the CBO (Congressional Budget Office), an increase in the minimum wage would increase unemployment from 500,00 to around 750,000.”

Still another reader asked about Senator Grassley’s position on increasing veterans’ benefits. Although the reader thought Grassley has recently voted to cut benefits, he vehemently denied doing so.

“Two years ago, there was a vote to cut the cost of living increase from 2 percent to 1 percent,” he recalled. “Although I voted against that, it passed but was repealed a month later. On August, 2, 2014, we appropriated billons more to the VA medical system because of the bad reports we’d received about lengthy wait times and so on.”

“We have an obligation to deliver on what we promised (to veterans),” he continued. “I’ve always been very supportive of them.”

Grassley had high praise for companies like MTS and also Kendrick Wood Products, Edgewood, which he visited earlier in the day. 

“A decision was made 25 years ago during the ag depression to diversify (Iowa’s economy) so we would not be so dependent on agriculture,” Grassley said. “It was a good decision. Manufacturing is gradually moving back into the U.S. Manufacturing in our state is strong.”

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