Grassley to make chairmanship decision after meeting with colleagues next week

Grassley to make chairmanship decision after meeting with colleagues next week
© Greg Nash

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyDem calls for Cohen to testify before Senate panel over explosive report Senate Republicans eye rules change to speed Trump nominees IRS shutdown plan fails to quell worries MORE (R-Iowa) plans to make a decision about which committee chairmanship he wants to hold next year after discussing the matter with his Senate colleagues next week, a spokesman for the senator said Wednesday.

Grassley is currently the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. But with the retirement of Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchPhRMA CEO 'hopeful' Trump officials will back down on drug pricing move Live coverage: Trump AG pick grilled on Mueller probe at confirmation hearing Trump praises RNC chairwoman after she criticizes her uncle Mitt Romney MORE (R-Utah), the Finance Committee chairmanship is open and Grassley has seniority on the panel.

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"Regarding Sen. Grassley’s chairmanship next Congress, Sen. Grassley will consult with his colleagues when the Senate returns next week and will then announce his decision," Grassley spokesman Michael Zona said.

The Finance Committee has jurisdiction over tax, trade and health issues of importance to Grassley, who previously served as the top Republican on the panel from 2001 to 2010. But it may be challenging for Republicans to pass major legislation in those areas next year, since Democrats won control of the House in Tuesday's elections.

As Judiciary Committee chairman, Grassley could continue to oversee the confirmation process for judicial nominees and President TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday shows preview: Shutdown negotiations continue after White House immigration proposal Rove warns Senate GOP: Don't put only focus on base Ann Coulter blasts Trump shutdown compromise: ‘We voted for Trump and got Jeb!’ MORE's next pick to be attorney general — a process that doesn't involve the House.

Prior to Tuesday's elections, Grassley said he would wait to make a decision on chairmanship until after the midterms. Senate Republicans will increase the size of their majority as a result of the contests, but Democrats will have a majority of the House next year.

After Grassley, the next most senior Republican on the Judiciary Committee who isn't retiring is Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump pitches new plan to reopen government amid Dem pushback Democrats signal they'll reject Trump shutdown proposal Dems revive impeachment talk after latest Cohen bombshell MORE (S.C.), and the next most senior Republican on the Finance Committee is Sen. Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoSenate advances measure bucking Trump on Russia sanctions Deutsche Bank targeted by Dems over Trump ties Senators offer measure naming Saudi crown prince 'responsible' for Khashoggi slaying MORE (Idaho).

Senate Republicans are expected to hold their leadership elections for the 116th Congress next week.