Grassley Direct

I spoke with Al Joens and Michelle Schoening on KTIV in Sioux City about the Senate's tax reform efforts. 

Q&A: Thanksgiving 

Q. Who launched a “day of thanksgiving” to unite America “with one heart and one voice”?
Q. What message do you have for Iowans this Thanksgiving? 

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Despite the trials and tribulations the pilgrims faced to be free, they took time to be thankful for the blessings they had. This thanksgiving, let’s follow their example and take time to count our own blessings. I’m grateful for the bountiful harvest brought to us by farmers, for the family and friends joining my wife Barbara and me for Thanksgiving dinner and for the opportunity to represent the people of Iowa. Let’s thank the generations who came before us to ensure our liberty and freedom. Happy Thanksgiving.

Modernizing the tax code is a once-in-a-generation opportunity that hasn’t been accomplished since Ronald Reagan was president. Tax reform will provide middle class Americans with financial relief, make U.S. industry and workers more competitive, create jobs across the country and get the economy growing again after years of stagnation. The legislation, which passed in the Senate Finance Committee, now goes to the full Senate. If passed, it would then go to conference to be reconciled with legislation passed by the House of Representatives. I look forward to working with my colleagues in both chambers to deliver on our promise for middle class tax relief.

Despite years of effort and small reforms, sexual assault and harassment remain pervasive in the military. My colleagues and I reintroduced bipartisan legislation to remove the sole decision-making authority over whether serious crimes are prosecuted from the military chain-of-command and give it to independent, trained military prosecutors. The men and women who serve in our armed forces enlist to protect their fellow Americans from harm. We should do everything we can to protect them while they serve.

The Senate approved the National Defense Authorization Act, which included a bipartisan provision I worked on to crack down on waste, fraud and abuse in federal agency travel and purchase card spending. This provision builds on my previous work to establish accountability and rein in misuse of government charge cards. There’s no excuse for the lax standards and practices we’ve seen. Government agencies are obligated to safeguard tax dollars and prevent abuse.

Violations of our antitrust laws often lead to higher prices and fewer choices for consumers. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont and I wrote a bill to extend whistleblower protections to private sector employees who expose criminal antitrust violations. Our bill, which was passed in the Senate this week, encourages private sector employees to disclose such criminal behavior by protecting them from retaliation at work. Whistleblowers are critical to exposing fraud, waste and abuse in government. It's high time we empower whistleblowers in the private sector to do the same for consumers. 

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