Grassley Direct

I spoke with Josh Blake of KNEI Radio in Waukon and Seth Boyes of the Dickinson County News about my Public Safety Officers’ Benefits bill, which was signed into law, the introduction of anti-human trafficking and synthetic drug legislation, the Senate health care replacement plan, withdrawal from the Paris climate accord and former FBI Director Comey’s testimony before Congress.

Q&A: Farm Markets and Farmers Markets 

Q. How do you approach public policy when it comes to production agriculture?
Q. What's your take on the growing popularity of farmers markets?

Quick Links 

A whistleblower provided data to my staff showing that as of March 2017, hundreds of Iowa veterans were waiting between one and two years for an appointment. The Department of Veterans Affairs previously provided misleading information about wait times. The reported lengthy wait times are unacceptable. I will continue to pursue accurate wait time information about VA appointments in Iowa.

Following my inquiry, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price committed to working on extending a Medicare payment designation program that is critical to small, often rural hospitals. The “tweener” program is critical to hospitals in Grinnell, Carroll, Newton and Spirit Lake and the patients they serve.

Human trafficking is a serious human rights violation that needs our continued attention, but victims in need of help are often hidden in plain sight because of the challenges of identifying them. I introduced bipartisan legislation to promote training to help better identify victims, expand services for survivors and streamline the federal government’s response. The exploitation of human beings should never be tolerated in our society.

When it comes to holding government accountable, there’s plenty of work to go around. Each elected official in Congress has the constitutional authority to conduct oversight of the executive branch on behalf of the people he or she represents, regardless of seniority in Congress or party affiliation. This week I urged President Trump to “drain the swamp” by rescinding a Justice Department legal opinion that attempts to shield unelected bureaucrats from oversight by the majority of the American people’s elected representatives in Congress.

This week marks the seventh anniversary of the tragic death of Indianola teen David Rozga, who died while trying a synthetic form of marijuana for the first time. These dangerous synthetic drugs are often difficult to regulate because they can be slightly modified in a lab to skirt federal laws designed to outlaw them. It’s created a deadly game of whack-a-moleas law enforcement struggles to keep pace under the current drug scheduling regime. I introduced bipartisan legislation to allow dangerous drugs that are substantially similar to other controlled substances to be quickly outlawed and help law enforcement get ahead of the poison peddlers.

I wrote to the U.S. Government Accountability Office requesting an update of its 2013 report on farm program eligibility. I have young farmers saying they cannot get started in farming because those who game the system receive huge amounts of subsidies and bid the price of land up too high. Removing non-farmers from farm programs is a no-brainer.

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