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Grassley holds roundtable Q&A at ILEC

August 8, 2018
David Swartz - Managing Editor (dswartz@esthervillenews.net) , Estherville News

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) held a question and answer session at Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative in Estherville on Tuesday. The senator hit several of the key hot topics of the day including immigration, DACA (Deferred Action for Child Arrivals) and tariffs.

Iowa Lakes Corridor Director Kiley Miller started the discussion asking about a skills-based immigration policy to help the businesses in Northwest Iowa.

Grassley admitted that his answer wouldn't be a very satisfactory answer.

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"There are certain things that shouldn't be controversial, like engineers or unskilled workers like agricultural workers," said Grassley.

He gave the example of bringing a bill out of committee for agriculture workers. While it doesn't take 60 votes to pass the bill, it does take 60 votes to end debate. Grassley noted that between two extremes-legalizing all immigrants or deporting all immigrants, it's difficult to get 60 votes.

"You might get 50 votes for one and 39 for the other," he said.

Later Grassley talked more about the difficulties of passing immigration legislation.

At one point, a few years ago, the Committee on the Judiciary worked for three months on legislation that had bi-partisan support. However when a key Democrat opposed it, it failed to go forward.

When Grassley became chairman of the same committee 3 1/2 years ago, he said he wanted to focus on a smaller issue that might have a better chance for approval. He said he has focused on DACA and keeping children and their parents together during their legal proceedings

Grassley was then asked for an update on the tariffs President Donald Trump has imposed.

Grassley has been involved with three meetings with the president concerning the tariffs.

When those in the meting informed of the impact that could have an agriculture, Trump said the Secretary of Agriculture will have a program and that's already been announced.

Grassley said the uniform response to that statement was, "We don't want aid; we want trade-we want markets.

"We also brought up the issue of a trade war," said Grassley. "'Trade war?' He almost bellers it out. 'What are you talking about? We've had a trade war for decades and we have lost.'"

Earlier in the day, Grassley was in Everly where the American Wind Energy Association presented him with a Wind Energy Award.

Grassley's stops in Northwest Iowa this are part of his annual visits to all 99 counties in Iowa.

 
 
 

 

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