Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley’s new TV ad criticizes his opponent Patty Judge for not volunteering to take a pay cut during the recession when she was Iowa’s lieutenant governor.
During a conference call with Iowa media, Grassley was asked if he’s ever taken a voluntary pay cut or refused his check during his four decades of public service in the Iowa legislature, the U.S. House or the U.S. Senate.
“Several times in the last five or six years, we’ve taken a pay cut because the automatic cost of living increase applies to members of Congress,” Grassley says. “We have voted as an institution and decided it wouldn’t be appropriate to take the pay increase.” Grassley, a Republican, says he opposes how he and his colleagues get pay hikes every year.
Grassley says, “I cosponsored the Vitter amendment that would require a vote on any pay raise for Congress in the future instead of it being an automatic pay raise.” Grassley also harkened back to a vote in July of 1975, shortly after he was first sent to represent Iowa in Washington.
House leaders were calling for a voice vote on a plan to set up automatic pay increases for members of Congress and Grassley says he’s on record opposing the idea.”You will read there two words that Chuck Grassley said as a freshman member of Congress: ‘I object,'” Grassley says. “So, they had to have a roll call (vote) and everybody was on record and that record came out that it passed by about two votes to have the automatic pay raise that we have right now.”
Grassley says he has “consistently voted for measures to deny all the congressional pay raises.” He says, when a raise can’t be justified, like when Americans face a dismal economy, “then the least we can do is not boost our own salary.”
Sam Roecker, a spokesman for Judge’s campaign, pointed to Grassley’s refusal to join more than 120 members of congress who donated their pay to charity or refused to accept a paycheck during the recent government shutdown.
“He also isn’t telling Iowans that he took his 23rd pay increase during the worst recession this country has had since World War II…Taxpayers pick up the bill for Grassley’s reckless partisanship and unprecedented obstruction,” Roecker said, citing Grassley’s refusal to hold a hearing for the president’s nominee for the Supreme Court. “Iowa families know that if you don’t do the job, you don’t get paid. Sadly, Chuck Grassley seems to have forgotten that.”