Grassley talks message of bipartisanship at Forest City town hall meeting

Despite big issues like immigration, the 7-term Iowa U.S. Senator believes that both sides can work together to solve issues

Posted: Jul 1, 2019 11:28 PM

FOREST CITY, Iowa - It was a pretty civil discussion with constituents Monday morning, as U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley heard about issues ranging from transparency on drug prescription costs to the environment to student loan debt, as well as one of the big issues facing the country now: immigration and the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border.

But in the current political climate, can bipartisanship still work in government?

Charles Tweeten is the co-chair of the Winnebago County Republicans. He says bipartisanship is not as common as what it once was, and the lack of it is hurting the country.

"In my opinion, I feel like the Democrats are going further to the left, and the Republicans are staying where they've been. I feel like we're just bringing back things to where they need to be."

Tweeten says he sees the Senator working to get both sides of the aisle to find some common ground.

"He brought that up this morning, with a bill to help with the crisis at the border, the funding. He mentioned it was an 84-8 vote, which is clearly bipartisan."

Tweeten isn't alone in thinking bipartisanship may be a thing of the past. Joy Newcom considers herself a moderate, and also believes it has been going by the wayside.

"I worry that it's becoming more about scoring points politically, and that our budget has been more about scoring points."

At Monday's town hall, Sen. Grassley touched on the recent vote for $4.6 billion in aid at the border, and believes bipartisanship can still work.

"We have the power of our voice. We have the power of our committee chairmasnhips. We have the power to work across party lines. But one Senator cannot dictate the 99 other Senators."

Newcom adds that because of the Senator's prestige and position, he can unite rather than divide.

"He has an opportunity to say, 'hey, we are the Congress. We are going to enact legislation that puts forward who we are as a people in the best interest bipartisanly of all of us.'"

"What I'd like to see him be stronger on is speaking back to the President that there should be nothing political that we're holding out for a bill that provides aid to children. They should not be a pawn for anything political."

The Senator is continuing his statewide tour in Anamosa and Pocahontas on Tuesday.

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