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 GrassleyRand Paul blocking Trump counterterrorism nominee Avenatti arrested over alleged domestic violence: police Trump throws support behind criminal justice bill 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 HatchCongress braces for high-drama lame duck Trump to award Medal of Freedom to Babe Ruth, Elvis, Scalia, Hatch How much power do states have? Supreme Court holds the answer MORE (R-Utah), the Finance Committee chairmanship is open and Grassley has seniority on the panel.

ADVERTISEMENT

"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 TrumpMeet the lawyer Democrats call when it's recount time Avenatti denies domestic violence allegations: 'I have never struck a woman' Trump names handbag designer as ambassador to South Africa 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 GrahamSenators return to Washington intent on action against Saudis Bill to protect Mueller blocked in Senate McConnell: Mueller probe should be allowed to finish MORE (S.C.), and the next most senior Republican on the Finance Committee is Sen. Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoSenate GOP readies for leadership reshuffle Waters defends planned probe of Trump finances after GOP backlash Grassley to make chairmanship decision after meeting with colleagues next week MORE (Idaho).

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