Grassley: McConnell doesn't control my committee

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOvernight Health Care — Sponsored by PCMA — House passes 'right to try' drug bill | Trump moves to restrict abortion referrals House easily passes prison reform bill backed by Trump The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — How long can a Trump-DOJ accord survive? MORE (R-Iowa) on Thursday defended his decision to move legislation protecting special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE despite Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTeacher defeats Kentucky state House majority leader in GOP primary Conservatives leery of FBI deal on informant Lobbying world MORE's (R-Ky.) opposition.

"Obviously, the majority leader's views are important to consider, but they do not govern what happens here in the Judiciary Committee," he said during a committee meeting.

ADVERTISEMENT
Grassley previously told sponsors of two competing special counsel bills that they needed to merge their proposals before he agreed to bring them up.

He's explained his decision to bring up the compromise bill, which limits President TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN's Zucker: Trump 'secretly watching CNN' all day and night GOP candidate behind 'Deportation Bus' loses in gubernatorial bid Penn to Hewitt: Mueller probe born out of ‘hysteria’ MORE's ability to fire Mueller, as keeping his word to the bipartisan group of senators.

But that pits him against McConnell, who has said the bill will not be brought up on the Senate floor.

"I'm the one who decides what we take to the floor, that's my responsibility as the majority leader, and we will not be having this on the floor of the Senate," McConnell told Fox News.

McConnell has argued for months that he does not believe a bill is necessary.

A bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation last week that would codify that only a senior Justice Department official can fire a special counsel and give Mueller or any other special counsel an "expedited review" of any firing.

Under the bill, if a court determined a special counsel wasn't fired for "good cause," the person would be reinstated.