WASHINGTON, DC – Iowans have won two Republican leadership positions in the U.S. Senate.
Chuck Grassley has been unanimously nominated to be Senate pro tempore for the upcoming 116th Congress. The position traditionally goes to the most senior member of the majority party in the Senate and after his expected election on January 3, 2019, Grassley will become third in the line of presidential succession, following the Vice President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
“This is an honor for me and the state of Iowa. The President pro tempore is one of a handful of offices specifically named by the Founders in the Constitution,” says Grassley. “I may only be three heartbeats away from the Oval Office, but my heart is and always will be in Iowa and here in the U.S. Senate, where I’ve worked for the people of Iowa and our nation for 38 years. My commitment to representative government and the deliberative body of the U.S. Senate is stronger than ever. I’ll work to see that we uphold the Senate as a check on the executive and judicial branches of government, including our constitutional authority to provide advice and consent.”
Grassley will succeed Utah Senator Orrin Hatch as Senate pro tempore. The only other Iowan to hold the position was Senator Albert B. Cummins, who was chosen in 1919 and held the job in the 66th through 69th Congressional sessions.
Joni Ernst has also been elected as vice chair of the Senate Republican conference. This would make here the first woman in GOP leadership ranks in nearly a decade. Ernst calls her election “a great honor.”