MASON CITY, Iowa - Iowa's senior U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley made a few stops in North Iowa on Tuesday as part of his 39th annual town hall tour. The Senator got a tour of Wood Harbor Custom Cabinetry in Mason City this morning, and met with employees.
He enjoys visiting his constituents.
"It's very essential to make representative government work. Those of us elected must discuss those with our constituents, both face to face and answering their email."
Tuesday morning, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed President Trump's ban on allowing most transgendered people to serve in the military to move forward, though lower courts will hear arguments on the issue. There are some exceptions to the ban; service members who have been stable for three years in their biological sex prior to joining the military, members diagnosed with gender dysphoria after joining the military can stay if they don't require a change of gender and remain deployable, those who were diagnosed before the policy took effect can still serve and receive treatment, and those without a diagnosis or history can serve under their birth sex. The Defense Department can issue waivers depending on each case.
Grassley disagrees with the decision, saying that all should be allowed to serve their country, if they're able to perform the required duties.
"There's a mission for every group of military people, and if you're going to be a part of that mission, you gotta be able to carry it out."
JoAnn Hardy is a member of One Iowa, and while she appreciates Grassley's position, she hopes that the support can be followed through.
"I hope he cares enough about the issue to fight for the rights of the LGBTQ community. That's my hope."
And her hopes don't end there.
"Hopefully we can come back to where we were, so that the LGBTQ community can have their rights. And if they want to serve, they should get to serve."
Also discussed on Tuesday was the ongoing federal government shutdown, with Grassley saying he personally feels embarrassed by the shutdown, and is ready to get the government back open by voting on Thursday.
"I'm gonna have to cut short some of my county meetings because of it, but I think the government should open, and I'm glad that we're having this opportunity this week and probably go into next week to get 800,000 people back to work."
The Senate plans to vote on competing bills, one by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and by House-passed legislation backed by Democrats to reopen the government, on Thursday. However, both proposals would need 60 votes to advance.