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Grassley’s milestone

November 11, 2015
Estherville News

Senator Grassley runs laps across, around, and up and down Iowa every year. He visits each of the 99 Iowa counties during recesses from the Senate. When Congress is in session, Grassley has been there for 4 decades voting for what he feels will best serve Iowa. He's in the top one-tenth of 1 percent of U.S. Senators for vote casting. Of the 2,000 men and women who have been senators in U.S. history, only 17 of them have cast more votes than Senator Grassley (and only 3 of the 100 serving today: Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Orrin Hatch of Utah and Patrick Leahy of Vermont). No senator now serving has had as many consecutive votes (never missing one) as Grassley's 7,474.

Now that's a public service marathon! (He runs 3 miles at 5:30 each morning, whether in Iowa or in Washington, and could possibly leave a lot of us in his dust.)

Last week, colleagues from the (R ) as well as the (D ) and (I ) camps in the senate praised Grassley for casting his 12,000th vote as senator. The odometer turned over last Friday during discussion in the Senate about the federal budget.

"When I cast a vote, I'm bringing the benefit of every comment, question and criticism heard from Iowans to the vote," Grassley said during brief remarks on the Senate floor. "With 12,000 votes, I think of the many conversations and pieces of correspondence behind those votes. Whether I'm meeting with Iowans in the Hart Building in Washington or at the University of Northern Iowa volleyball matches near my farm in New Hartford, the time people take to visit with me is time well-spent for me, and I hope they consider it time well-spent for them."

When Sen. Grassley visited Emmet County in August, he was peppered with questions about Islamic extremism, utility regulations, the Affordable Health Care Act, education, and more, and even in a few contentious back-and-forth exchanges initiated by local constituents, he was unflappable and treated each questioner with patience, grace, and dignity.

In 2010, The Hill newspaper in Washington, D.C., named Grassley the hardest-working member of Congress based on a survey of lawmakers, aides and others. He is far from slowing down; the 82-year-old Grassley will seek a seventh 6-year Senate term in 2016.

Grassley's milestone is a remarkable achievement for any lawmaker, any person, by any standard. It is also a milestone for Iowans as we have one of the best of the best of the best serving our interests in the Senate.



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