Charles E Grassley

Pens, Parnas and pain of imprisonment: Congressional Hits and Misses
Week of Jan. 13, 2020

Speaker Nancy Pelosi signs the articles of impeachment during an engrossment ceremony before taking them over to the Senate on Wednesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Watch: Chief Justice Roberts swears in senators, starts impeachment trial
Full swearing in ceremony for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump

Senators raise their hands as Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. administers the oath of the Senate court of impeachment Thursday. (Screenshot/Senate Recording Studio)

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. officially began the third presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history Thursday. Shortly after arriving at the Capitol, Senate President Pro Tempore Charles E. Grassley swore in the justice on the Senate rostrum.

Roberts then administered the oath to lawmakers. Alphabetically and in groups of four, the senators’ names were read by the clerk and the senators approached the Republican desk — normally used by Republican floor staff — to sign the impeachment oath book.

Chief Justice leaves his friendly confines for Trump impeachment trial
Will anyone in the Senate know his favorite dessert?

President Donald Trump greets Chief Justice John Roberts after addressing a joint session of Congress in the House Chamber in February 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Charles E. Grassley was one of the first senators to suggest Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. might be uncomfortable presiding over the Senate’s impeachment trial of President Donald Trump — in part because it will be televised.

The Iowa Republican, who will swear in Roberts for his role Thursday, has long been an advocate for adding cameras to the Supreme Court. But Roberts and the other justices haven’t budged. They still conduct oral arguments and announce opinions in a courtroom without cameras or cell phones.

Trump signs ‘phase one’ China pact, first of two trade milestones this week
Senate to take up NAFTA replacement before impeachment trial begins

President Donald Trump gestures as he speaks during a “Keep America Great” campaign rally in Milwaukee on Tuesday night. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

Amid the impeachment proceedings on Capitol Hill, President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed the first of two significant milestones on trade — an agreement with China that amounts to a ceasefire in his war with the Asian giant.

Trump is expected to get a second win on the issue later this week, with the Senate expected to approve a revised trade agreement with Canada and Mexico. Aides say Trump plans to trumpet both as part of his reelection sales pitch that he is a good steward of the economy.

Chris Allen, Senate Finance Committee GOP tax aide, has died
Allen handled pensions and tax-exempt organizations issues under Finance Chairman Charles E. Grassley

Chris Allen, right, with Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., in an undated photo. (Courtesy Sen. Pat Roberts)

Chris Allen, a Senate Finance Committee GOP tax aide, has died, according to his former boss, Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan.

“Chris was beloved by everyone who had the privilege of meeting him,” Roberts said in a statement. “He had a brilliant mind, a generosity of spirit and a passion for serving the country in the United States Senate. His gentle soul made him an amazing husband, father, son, brother and friend.”

Forgive our lawmakers for falling short: Congressional Hits and Misses
Week of Jan. 6, 2020

A photojournalist takes photos of the TV monitor in the Capitol’s Rayburn subway stop as President Donald Trump speaks about Iran on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Businesses hit by mistaken tax penalty seek help from Congress
Drafting error in 2017 GOP tax overhaul hurt retail industry particularly hard

Arizona Sen. Martha McSally is the lead sponsor of a bill that would address an unintentional mistake in the 2017 Republican tax code overhaul over deducting net operating losses. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A one-word drafting error in the 2017 tax code overhaul has sent companies ranging from specialty retailer PetSmart Inc. to Nissan Motor Co. scrambling to Capitol Hill for relief.

As part of the effort to offset a dramatic reduction in the corporate tax rate in the 2017 law, Republicans limited the ability of firms to claim tax breaks on net operating losses, or when deductions exceed income.

Impeachment news roundup: Dec. 19
McConnell: ’We remain at an impasse’ on Senate trial framework

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to not send impeachment articles to the Senate showed Democrats “may be too afraid to even transmit their shoddy work product to the Senate.” (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Court Concerns: Sen. Charles E. Grassley said the House will be “embarrassed” if they don't send the articles of impeachment to the Senate and raised concerns about the delay interfering with the third branch, the court.

“They’ve got to take into consideration the work of the chief justice presiding over the Senate, and he’s got to plan for the work of the Supreme Court,” Grassley said. “And they aren't taking that into consideration.”

Massive spending, tax packages headed for Senate
Lawmakers pointed out both sides had to make sacrifices in order to pass the bills

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., makes her way to a meeting of the House Democratic Caucus in the Capitol on Tuesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

The House approved $1.4 trillion in spending for the fiscal year that began almost three months ago, in an almost surreal business-as-usual fashion that seemingly ignored the historic articles of impeachment scheduled for the floor the very next day.

Lawmakers made a show of dividing the spending measures into two bundles, in order to avoid the oft-ridiculed omnibus bill that both sides say represents the worst of the “swamp.” But the rushed nature of the vote, and in particular the late-night deal that tacked on a nearly $54 billion tax package, runs counter to promises of a more transparent process where the rank-and-file has input and time to study the legislation.

Tax deal in hand, spending package grows in size
Targets expiring tax breaks for biodiesel, distilleries, racehorses and butane

After Senate Finance Chairman Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, tweeted his displeasure over the weekend about talks possibly being “detrimental to farmers,” prospects for renewal of the lapsed biodiesel tax credit perked up. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A deal on tax extenders reached late Monday by top Capitol Hill and White House officials would renew most expired or expiring tax provisions through 2020, with a longer extension for lapsed biodiesel and short-line railroad maintenance credits through 2022.

Adoption of the rule for floor debate on an eight-bill spending package set for floor consideration Tuesday will incorporate the tax package, which will also carry disaster aid provisions and a couple of fixes to the 2017 tax law.