The Presidential Inauguration

Yesterday, Americans had the opportunity to witness a hallmark of American democracy in the peaceful transfer of power from one president to the next. Nobody should be surprised at the priorities laid out in President Trump’s speech. It focused on the same ideals that got him elected. President Trump has given hope to many Americans who have long felt forgotten. He is empowering Americans and inspiring people to believe that government can work for them again. I appreciate President Trump’s pledge to create jobs, help struggling families, secure our borders, combat Islamic terrorism and resume America’s position of leadership in the free world. President Trump outlined a bold agenda to put America first, and now it’s time for Congress to get to work. As the President said, "No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America."

Grassley Direct

I spoke with Ed Funston from KILR radio in Estherville and Jamie Whitney from the Pocahontas Record Democrat about President Obama's commutation of Chelsea Manning, the Secretary of Agriculture nominee and agriculture policy in a Trump administration, Obamacare repeal and replacement, Governor Branstad's becoming ambassador and the confirmation process for Trump nominees. 

Q&A: Collecting Taxes Owed

Q: What is the IRS Whistleblower Office?
Q: Why do you support private debt collection for unpaid taxes?

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I met with Gov. Rick Perry, nominated by President Trump to be secretary of the Department of Energy, alongside fellow senators from biofuels-producing states to discuss concerns related to that department.  I received assurances from Gov. Perry that he appreciates the role of biofuels in an all-of-the-above energy strategy and that he recognizes the tremendous benefits in job creation, economic investment and environmental protection created by the biofuels industry.

I also met with Robert Lighthizer, President Trump's nominee to serve as United States Trade Representative. I wanted to convey that regardless of what action the President takes on trade, he and his advisers should consider the effects on agriculture. Iowa is an exporting state, with a tremendous amount of agricultural commodities and other goods shipped to markets around the world. I expect the new administration to work hard to maintain existing markets for Iowa and other farm states' exports.

I introduced a bipartisan bill to ensure that employers make a good faith effort to hire qualified American workers first. It also prioritizes American-educated foreign workers over those who have not spent time in the United States. The legislation does this by increasing enforcement of immigration laws, modifying wage requirements and securing protections for American workers. 

The Senate Finance Committee held hearings this week on the confirmation of Treasury Secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin. In that hearing, I made sure to specifically ask for a commitment to support a strong IRS whistleblower function. Mr. Mnuchin gave his assurance that he'll work with me if confirmed to support tax fraud whistleblowers.

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