Iowa’s own version of Sarah Palin – Joni Ernst – introduced a bill in the Senate to take probably the most reliable health care resource for women away from women when she introduced her bill to defund Planned Parenthood of any federal funds. Planned Parenthood for decades has been the go to resource especially for young and poor women. Planned Parenthood’s mission is to deliver top quality health care to any patient, no matter who it is.
Persuaded by a series of badly produced and edited that made PP appear to be involved in some illegal activities, Ernst quickly threw a bill together to pander to the rabid right wing evangelical base. Despite having major legislation that needs attention such as the budget, Mitch McConnell moved the Ernst bill to the front of the pack so it could be voted on thus allowing every Republican senator to have something to brag about back home during the August recess. As expected every Republican but one voted for the defunding bill.
Because of a new unwritten rule that Republicans used to stop any legislation from the Obama administration the bill failed the now needed 60 vote super majority. Had it been passed, the egregiously gerrymandered US House would have passed it in a second.
With that short history of Ernst’s pandering bill, my curiosity went to what iowa’s senior senator was thinking when he voted for it. In reality I doubt there was much fought that went into his vote.
* Did he think of the thousands of women in Iowa who have at some time in the past used the services of PP?
* Did he at all consider those who are currently using PP services?
* Did he at all consider the families of those women?
* Was their any consideration of what their alternatives were?
* Did his office poll Iowa women on what they would do if PP services were no longer available?
* What would he do about the increased number of unwanted pregnancies that resulted from the lack of access to birth control services?
* PP services have prevented abortions by preventing unwanted pregnancies. What was his answer to the potential increase in abortions?
We all know the answers to these questions. Grassley most likely cast a perfunctory vote with little thought at all. Chuck Grassley is one of only 100 people who have major say on issues that directly affect your lives and the culture in this country. For the past couple years, Grassley appears to be phoning it in and following the dictates of his corporate sponsors.
Mr. Grassley chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee. This is the committee that reviews the administrations judicial appointments. It is critical simply because the judiciary is one third of our government and judges must be in place to get the work done. Since he assumed the chair in January, the appointment of judges has pretty much stopped. Why? Because Grassley simply refuses to allow Obama any more appointments in his final 2 years. Grassley wants those seats to remain open until the next president, that he assumes will be a Republican. He is not doing this for the good of Iowa or the country. Grassley is doing this for party and his corporate sponsors.
Mr. Grassley sits on the finance committee that oversees Social Security. His positions on that major plan for seniors is troubling at best. With the amount of money he raises from the various members of the financial sector a person doesn’t need to dig hard to see why. Grassley has hinted at privatizing social security over the years. Grassley is also working hard to gut the post financial collapse reforms of the the Dodd-Franks bill. Think what his positions on these issues mean to your family. Was the Big Recession not enough for you?
Let us not forget Grassley’s stand on foreign policy. It can be summed up by saying that, like many Republicans today, Grassley believes war is good business. He signed that insane threatening letter to the Iranian government earlier this year and recently came out against the Iran deal that the administration negotiated. He is hard line on Iran and ready to send in your children into a fight.
Never forget how he personally fought the ACA. Consider how much the ACA reforms have done for families and individuals. Grassley wants to take all that away, but has no proposal for a replacement. Is this really the kind of representation Iowans want or deserve.
The Democrats do have a couple of candidates criss-crossing the state getting their names out. Tom Fiegan and Bob Krause are both former members of the Iowa legislature. Both are true blue Democrats that would make Iowa proud. Testing the waters at the current time is Rob Hogg, who is a current legislator. All of these candidates would represent real Iowans, not just the ones with the big checkbooks.
Mr. Grassley, 36 years is long enough. Iowa needs a senator who cares about Iowans and who is in touch with today’s problems, not stuck in the 1950s.