Grassley to take back Judiciary gavel if GOP keeps Senate in 2020

Grassley to take back Judiciary gavel if GOP keeps Senate in 2020
© Getty Images

Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyGrassley: Iowa can't afford to be 'babysitting' unaccompanied minors Anti-Asian hate crimes bill overcomes first Senate hurdle On The Money: Senate confirms Gensler to lead SEC | Senate GOP to face off over earmarks next week | Top Republican on House tax panel to retire MORE (R-Iowa) is planning to take back the gavel of the influential Judiciary Committee if Republicans keep control of the Senate in the 2020 elections.

Grassley chaired the Judiciary Committee from 2015 to 2019 but handed over the top spot to Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamWall Street spent .9B on campaigns, lobbying in 2020 election: study Biden aide: Ability to collect daily intel in Afghanistan 'will diminish' Leaving Afghanistan: Is it victory or defeat? MORE (R-S.C.) in January so that he could take over the Senate Finance Committee.
Under Senate GOP rules, Grassley will hit his term limit for the Finance panel at the end of next year. He has informed Graham that he intends to use his seniority to become chairman of the Judiciary Committee starting in January 2021.
"He has, I think, two more years," Graham told The Hill on Thursday. "I'd honor any request that he wants to make."
Grassley, who can serve an additional two years as Judiciary Committee chairman according to Senate Republican Conference rules, separately told Bloomberg that he wants to chair the Judiciary Committee again.
A spokesman for Grassley confirmed his plans.
Grassley said on Thursday that he had spoken to Graham about the issue but declined to discuss the conversation.
“I have two years and that would be a natural thing to do,” Grassley said, referring to a move back to the Judiciary Committee chairmanship.
Grassley steered the Judiciary panel though multiple high-profile fights, including the confirmation battles over Neil GorsuchNeil GorsuchTop GOP super PAC endorses Murkowski amid primary threat Trump-era grievances could get second life at Supreme Court Supreme Court sides with Google in copyright fight against Oracle MORE and Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughBiden's court-packing theater could tame the Supreme Court's conservatives Trump knocks CNN for 'completely false' report Gaetz was denied meeting NY Times beclowns itself by normalizing court-packing 'to balance the conservative majority' MORE, President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden administration still seizing land near border despite plans to stop building wall: report Illinois House passes bill that would mandate Asian-American history lessons in schools Overnight Defense: Administration says 'low to moderate confidence' Russia behind Afghanistan troop bounties | 'Low to medium risk' of Russia invading Ukraine in next few weeks | Intelligence leaders face sharp questions during House worldwide threats he MORE's two Supreme Court nominees, in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
Graham took over the Judiciary Committee in January, giving him a coveted perch as he runs for reelection in the deeply red state of South Carolina.
As one of Trump's biggest allies in the Senate, Graham has used the committee to push through the president's judicial nominees, one of the biggest priorities for the GOP-controlled Senate. Graham's involvement on judicial nominations has earned him praise from conservatives and helped dismiss any talk of a serious primary challenge next year.
He has also threatened to use the committee as a counterpoint to the impeachment investigation in the House, including digging into the origins of the Russia investigation and exploring GOP questions about Ukraine and the Bidens.
Updated at 12:42 p.m.