Grassley fires back at Reid on Supreme Court fight

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleySenate approves border bill that prevents shutdown Grassley raises voice after McConnell interrupts Senate speech Senate confirms Trump pick William Barr as new attorney general MORE (R-Iowa) made the latest move in an entrenched war of words with Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidKlobuchar: 'I don't remember' conversation with Reid over alleged staff mistreatment Dems wary of killing off filibuster Reid praises Warren, stops short of endorsement MORE, saying the Nevada Democrat is using "political stunts and childish tantrums" in the fight over the vacancy on the Supreme Court. 

"The minority leader has again come to the floor to speak about a Supreme Court vacancy. He made personal insults and threats, as he tends to do," Grassley said from the Senate floor on Thursday. "But political stunts and childish tantrums aside, the minority leader knows that the American people deserve to have their voices heard."

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Grassley's comments come as Democrats have focused again on the stalemate over Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland since returning to Washington this week. 

Vice President Biden met with Democrats Thursday and called for Republicans to allow a vote. Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyWinners and losers in the border security deal Greedy tort bar tarts up the CREATES Act Schumer: Trump should sign deal to prevent shutdown MORE (D-Vt.), the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, also met with Garland for a second time on Thursday.

But Grassley, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, doubled down Thursday on the GOP strategy to keep the late Justice Antonin Scalia's seat empty until next year, allowing the next president to name a successor. 

"I remain convinced that we owe the people a chance to speak their minds on the Supreme Court in the election," he said. "They want to have a voice in the matter. We will give them that voice."

Democrats have repeatedly blasted Grassley's refusal to give Garland a hearing, putting the Supreme Court fight at the center of their effort to unseat the Iowa Republican in November. 

Reid took a swing at Grassley from the Senate floor on Wednesday, saying that while he isn't "mad" at the Iowa senator, he believes he's acting as GOP presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpBill Kristol resurfaces video of Pence calling Obama executive action on immigration a 'profound mistake' ACLU says planned national emergency declaration is 'clear abuse of presidential power' O'Rourke says he'd 'absolutely' take down border wall near El Paso if he could MORE's "fan." 

"My only concern, as I think this great record of this man from Iowa is being tarnished — some say beyond repair," Reid added. "His legacy is going to be damaged, and we've seen that in editorials out of Iowa and letters to the editor out of Iowa. Lots of them."