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 GrassleyOvernight Health Care: Senators seek CBO input on preventing surprise medical bills | Oversight panel seeks OxyContin documents | Pharmacy middlemen to testify on prices | Watchdog warns air ambulances can put patients at 'financial risk' Drug prices are a matter of life and death Senate panel to hear from pharmacy middlemen on drug prices 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 HatchNY's political prosecution of Manafort should scare us all Congress must break its addiction to unjust tax extenders The FDA crackdown on dietary supplements is inadequate 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 TrumpSenate GOP budget ignores Trump, cuts defense Trump says he'll nominate Stephen Moore to Fed White House: ISIS territory in Syria has been 100 percent eliminated 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 GrahamThe Memo: Trump can't let go of McCain grudge The Hill's Morning Report - Trump's intraparty feuds divide Republicans Trump's attacks on McCain exacerbate tensions with Senate GOP MORE (S.C.), and the next most senior Republican on the Finance Committee is Sen. Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoSenate confirms Trump court pick despite missing two 'blue slips' Senate reignites blue slip war over Trump court picks New push to open banks to marijuana industry MORE (Idaho).

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