At a Glance
- Career History: U.S. Representative (1974 to 1980); Iowa House of Representatives (1958 to 1974)
- Birthday: Sept. 17, 1933
- Hometown: New Hartford, Iowa
- Alma Mater: University of North Iowa, B.A., 1955, Master's, 1956; University of Iowa, 1957 to 1958
- Spouse: Barbara
- Religion: Baptist
- Committees: Ranking Member, Judiciary (since January 2011); Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry ; Budget ; Finance
- DC Office: 135 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510, (202)224-3744 (202)224-3744
- State Office: Cedar Rapids, (319) 363-6832 (319) 363-6832 ; Council Bluffs (712)322-7103 (712)322-7103 ; Davenport (563) 322-4331 (563) 322-4331 , Des Moines (515) 284-4890 (515) 284-4890 , Sioux City (712) 233-1860 (712) 233-1860 , Waterloo (319) 232-6657 (319) 232-6657 .
Path to Power
Grassley was raised on a farm outside of Waterloo, Iowa. He earned undergraduate and master's degrees in political science from the University of Northern Iowa and completed partial work toward a doctorate from the University of Iowa.
Grassley's first bid for public office came in 1956, when he was still a graduate student. He lost a race for a seat in the state House by 70-some votes, but ran again and won that same seat two years later at age 25. He continued to work as a sheet metal shearer and an assembly line worker when as part of the state House.
Grassley, a lifelong farmer, is known for his strong support of the agriculture industry. He is one of the leading advocates for implementing caps on farm subsidies to large corporations. The 80-acre farm he inherited in 1960 has grown over the years to 710 acres. He prides himself on continuing to help his son run the farm.
He is also known for his presence on the Senate floor. The five-term senator hasn't missed a roll call vote since 1993 and has led the Senate in consecutive roll call votes since 1997.
Grassley and Baucus have worked closely together on the Senate Finance Committee. The former top members of the committee rarely opposed each other on legislation (Grassley will be partnered with the more partisan Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) who chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee in the 112th Congress). The two have weekly meetings to discuss committee issues and Baucus has donated to Grassley's grandson's campaign for the Iowa state House.
Most notably, the two worked together to rally bipartisan support for the 2003 Medicare prescription drug act. Grassley worked closely with Kennedy to pass expansions of Medicare benefits to parents of children with special needs.