After the month-long summer recess, the U.S. Senate heads back to work today with a variety of items on the agenda targeting jobs and the economy. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he conducted 14 town hall meetings in Iowa last week and heard from plenty of people about their anger and anxieties over what the federal government’s doing, especially after the recent debt ceiling agreement.

“The debate needs to focus on changing the course so that our economy can turn around,” Grassley says. “That means common sense pro-growth policies that leave more money in the pockets of Americans and encourage job creation. The tax code needs to be simpler for individuals and employers.” He says businesses need to be reassured that they won’t be facing more taxes and more regulations so they’ll be able to move ahead with growing and hiring.

“The president took steps in the right direction last Friday by scrapping a very costly EPA regulation on smog,” Grassley says. “Excessive regulations are tying the hands and frustrating entrepreneurs across America. I can’t remember a time when I’ve heard more frustration about federal regulations.”

Grassley, a Republican, says the continued threat of tax increases is fueling uncertainty for business owners and “gets in the way of getting people back to work.” “The atmosphere of uncertainty is one of the things that’s keeping particularly small business from moving forward,” Grassley says.

“Corporations aren’t doing much more, even considering corporations have a trillion dollars of unused money in their treasuries and they aren’t willing to invest it for jobs because they don’t know what government is going to do to screw them.” Grassley says, “There’s no question the agenda of the last two-plus years hasn’t worked,” as he says it’s only brought more government spending, more regulation and more entitlement programs.

He says he hopes President Obama will take this week’s opportunity to “chart a new course” with his jobs program. The president’s speech is expected on Thursday.

The House session resumes Wednesday.