The power shifted from Republicans to Democrats in the U-S Senate this morning, and Iowa’s two Senators changed roles. The changes were made because Vermont Senator Jim Jeffords switched from Republican to Independent, breaking the 50/50 split in the Senate. Democrat Senator Tom Harkin became chairman of the Senate Ag Committee with the change in power. He’s the first Iowan to chair the committee in 91 years. In a prepared statement, Harkin said he wants to help bring economic success to rural areas, and will work to restore income protection for farmers as part of the next “Farm Bill.” With today’s shift, Republican Senator Charles Grassley lost his chairmanship of the powerful Finance Committee. Grassley helped push through the big tax cut package during his 120 days as chairman — and Grassley says that means he cut Americans’ taxes by 10-Billion dollars for every day he was chairman.
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