With the U.S. Senate on recess this week, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is visiting 27 counties in the state to hold town meetings and for speaking engagements at schools, businesses and civic groups. Grassley says Iowans usually bring up five-to-ten main issues at the town meetings he holds routinely across the state, but he says a wide range of subjects are being discussed so far this week.
Grassley says the topics include: Iraq, Iran, defense spending, Medicare cuts, farm programs, watershed issues, No Child Left Behind, budget shortfalls, Social Security, homeland security — and he says that’s probably not even half of the subjects people want to discuss.
On the subject of Iran, that nation’s president says they’ll agree to stop their enriched uranium program if Western countries follow suit. Grassley says the U.S. has been reducing its nuclear weaponry for decades.
He says "These are steps that the United States is taking and we’d be willing to continue down that road but we are a guarantor of peace around the world and we want to make sure that we have the capabilities we did during the Cold War of deterrence and having some nuclear capability is part of that."
Grassley says the U.S. and some 180 other nations signed the treaty on the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, something Iran is currently violating. He says during the 1970s, the 80s and the 90s, the U.S. made significant efforts to cut its atomic arsenal. He says "We started to reduce our warehouse and capability to have nuclear warfare so we were headed in that direction a long time before Iran started a desire to become a nuclear powerhouse and a threat to world peace."
Over the next week, Grassley is holding town meetings in Benton, Butler, Chickasaw, Clarke, Dallas, Delaware, Dubuque, Franklin, Floyd, Lucas, Madison, Monroe, Poweshiek, Story, Tama, Warren and Union counties. Grassley will also attend Rotary Club meetings in Bellevue, Boone, Cedar Rapids, Clear Lake and Pella; tour businesses in Monticello and Stuart; visit schools in Marshalltown and Williamsburg; and tour a drug rehabilitation center in Colfax.