DES MOINES, Iowa – Former U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer, D-Iowa, who is running for the Democratic nomination to challenge U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, this fall said Iowa’s U.S. Senate race is all about contrasting the two candidates.
“What I did in two years in Congress I would put up against [Grassley’s] last 10-20 any day of the week,” she stated.
Finkenauer was the first member of Congress in Iowa to be defeated after her first term in 54 years and is in a four-way primary for the Democratic nomination.
Grassley’s campaign pointed out that Finkenauer never saw a bill she introduced or authored signed into law in Congress or when she served in the Iowa House of Representatives.
“Ex-Rep. Finkenauer can talk until she’s blue in the face. Senator Grassley outworks her six ways to Sunday and then some,” said Jennifer Heins, campaign advisor. “She just doesn’t have any significant legislative accomplishments.”
They also pointed out that Grassley has held key leadership positions in the U.S. Senate including President pro tempore, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and is presently ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Finkenauer did not hold any leadership positions as a member of Congress.
Grassley led the confirmations of Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh through the U.S. Senate and was instrumental in the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett. In addition, as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he steered to confirmation more than 200 federal judges for lifetime appointment during the Trump administration.
At the helm of the Senate Finance Committee, Sen. Grassley wrote and negotiated much of the CARES Act at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, including his work to send financial lifelines to help rural hospitals, small businesses and households stay afloat and boost federal unemployment insurance to help America’s workers suddenly out of a job through no fault of their own.
In 2019, Sen. Grassley secured a five-year extension of the biodiesel tax credit in the end of year tax package to benefit Iowa farmers, producers and consumers. He also wrote the SECURE Act which enacted important reforms to expand and improve access to retirement savings, particularly by making it easier and more affordable for small businesses to offer a retirement plan for their workers. Sen. Grassley also negotiated natural disaster relief including support for Iowans hit by the 2020 derecho storm, securing federal recovery assistance for Iowa farmers through the USDA WHIP program.
As one of only two crop farmers in the United States Senate, Grassley led the United States Mexico Canada trade agreement to bolster exports for agriculture. As President pro tempore, he signed the bill after steering it to passage in the Senate before sending it on to President Trump’s desk for his signature.
Grassley is known as the Patron Saint of Whistleblowers for his decades of advocacy standing up for those that blow the whistle on wrongdoing in government. He roots out waste, fraud and abuse to make government accountable to the people. In 2021, Sen. Grassley sent 168 oversight inquiries to federal agencies. The Department of Justice recently announced Sen. Grassley’s 1986 amendments to the False Claims Act are credited with recovering more than $70 billion to the federal treasury on behalf of the American taxpayer.
Grassley has consistently been ranked one of the top bipartisan senators in the U.S. Senate by the Lugar Center registering at the 8th and 19th most bipartisan senator. In Finkenauer’s single term she ranked 70th on the same index of House members.
The Center for Effective Lawmaking has named Grassley the most effective lawmaker of all 100 senators in the 115th Congress [2017-2019] and 6th in the 116th Congress [2019-2021]. During the two years Finkenauer was in office she ranked 93rd out of 240 Democrats in the House of Representatives for effectiveness.
In this current Senate term, Grassley has had 13 stand-alone bills signed into law by the President of the United States, including measures to help law enforcement and first responders; strengthen elder justice and child trafficking laws; expand whistleblower protections and more⸺all are bipartisan bills. This list does not include bills that were a part of end of year packages.
Eleven of those bills were signed by former President Donald Trump and two were signed by President Joe Biden.
- S.3354 — 115th Congress (2017-2018) Missing Children’s Assistance Act of 2018
- S.2946 — 115th Congress (2017-2018) Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act of 2018
- S.2559 — 115th Congress (2017-2018) Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act
- S.1869 — 115th Congress (2017-2018) Whistleblower Protection Coordination Act
- S.1312 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2017
- S.419 — 115th Congress (2017-2018) Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2017
- S.178 — 115th Congress (2017-2018) Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act
- S.4091 — 116th Congress (2019-2020) Emergency Aid for Returning Americans Affected by Coronavirus Act
- S.3607 — 116th Congress (2019-2020) Safeguarding America’s First Responders Act of 2020
- S.2258 — 116th Congress (2019-2020) Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act of 2019
- S.744 — 116th Congress (2019-2020) Effective Prosecution of Possession of Biological Toxins and Agents Act of 2019
- S.1511 — 117th Congress (2021-2022) Protecting America’s First Responders Act of 2021
- S.409 — 117th Congress (2021-2022) A bill to provide for the availability of amounts for customer education initiatives and non-awards expenses of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Whistleblower Program, and for other purposes.