With this week’s G-Eight summit in Scotland, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says the attendees have an “opportunity to spell out the future economically for these great nations and to set the pattern for the expansion of the prosperity of the big eight to developing nations.”
Grassley says “Aid to Africa, particularly the aid of canceling debt, is very, very important, but I think more important than just the canceling of debt is the conditions on which the debt is canceled.” Grassley says he sees two primary criteria, the first being that nations being ruled by dictators should not be considered for getting financial bailouts.

Second, he says government should not be involved in the nation’s economy so that when American taxpayers’ dollars are given to those starving nations, that the money goes to the needy people, not lining the pockets of wealthy people and the government. After a stop in Denmark, President Bush will join other world leaders for three days of talks at the G-Eight summit. The agenda centers on African aid and climate change.

Governor Vilsack signed an executive order on Independence Day granting voting rights to some 50-thousand convicted felons who’ve completed their sentences. Senator Grassley says he supports the principal of what Vilsack did.

Grassley says one outstanding issue is whether all of these Iowans, besides serving their time in prison and probation, have they paid all of their court costs, and the restitution and compensation to the victims? He says these elements haven’t been completely explained by the governor.

Grassley says these are legitimate points that need to be spelled out. He says people who haven’t fully paid their debts to society, the victims and the courts, should not have their civil rights fully restored until they do so.