Grassley Direct

I spoke with Mike Earl of KDSN Radio in Denison and Dale Wegner of the Sac Sun about the Senate health care plan, North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile launch, the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2018 renewable fuel standards, tax reform, the passage of Kate’s Law in the House, President Trump's attending the G20 Summit and the Waters of the U.S. rule. 

Q&A: Good News for Iowa Beef 

Q. What’s the update regarding China’s ban on American beef? 
Q. What’s the scoop on Iowa’s dairy industry?

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As I often say, representative government is a two-way street. That’s why, when the Senate isn’t in session, I’m in Iowa holding meetings and working to keep in touch with Iowans. As part of this commitment, this week I held nine of my annual #99CountyMeetings  in Davis, Appanoose, Louisa, Henry, Des Moines, Lee, Van Buren, Jefferson and Wapello counties. I hold my county meetings in a variety of locations and formats so I’m able to listen to and take questions from a diverse cross-section of Iowans. They are open topic Q&A on any subject that people want to talk about. As always, Iowans set the agenda.

The EPA’s proposed 2018 renewable volume obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard program are a mixed bag. While I’m glad the EPA’s proposal holds steady the conventional ethanol requirement, the lack of any increase for biodiesel is a missed opportunity. The biofuel industry is good for the economy, good for the environment and good for national security. It supports hundreds of thousands of jobs, is cleaner-burning and reduces U.S. dependence on foreign oil. I’m disappointed in the direction of these proposed volumes, and I hope the EPA will consider increasing these levels once farmers and biofuels producers weigh in.

I sought clarification from Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller about his office’s ability to determine the value of reimbursement to the state necessary to make Iowa whole from EpiPen’s apparent misclassification under Medicaid’s Drug Rebate Program. It must be assumed that some harm has been inflicted on Iowa, and Miller's office has a responsibility to help ensure the state and its people receive the correct rebates. 

U.S. Marshals Service officers are responsible for hunting down and arresting dangerous fugitives. However, my oversight work found that more than 1,400 of them are operating with expired body armor. We also discovered that a comprehensive safety training plan for those officers has not been consistently implemented, leading to even more risks. What’s worse, leadership at the agency was repeatedly warned about it. I’m asking those leaders to explain how these lapses were allowed to happen, jeopardizing officers’ safety.

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