Senator Chuck Grassley earned the top spot as the “most effective lawmaker” in the U.S. Senate for the 115th Congress, according to a non-partisan analysis conducted by the Center for Effective Lawmaking.
“Iowans expect their elected representatives to work hard and represent the interests of our great state here in the nation’s capital. Using my key committee assignments, I’m able to leverage my seniority and give Iowa a seat of influence at the policymaking tables. It’s an honor to serve and help make life better for hard-working Iowans,” said Grassley.
The analysis recognized Grassley’s expansive legislative portfolio, counting 73 bills he wrote to address a broad range of issues important to Iowans, including farm conservation and renewable energy; criminal and juvenile justice reform; prescription drug prices; student debt; foster care; drug addiction; mental health; school safety; rural health care; victims’ rights and veterans’ services.
During the 115th Congress (2017-2018), Grassley chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee where he steered more than 60 bipartisan bills through the committee. Half of those were signed into law, including the historic First Step Act, the Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act and the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. During his tenure, the Senate Judiciary Committee vetted 85 federal judicial nominees who received Senate confirmation for lifetime appointments to the federal bench, including 2 Supreme Court justices, 30 federal circuit court judges and 53 federal district judges.
The Center for Effective Lawmaking based its scorecard on a combination of 15 metrics, including the number of bills sponsored by each lawmaker, how far they move through the lawmaking process and how important the policy proposals are to American society.
The benchmarks also factored in leadership positions and whether a lawmaker served in the majority or minority party during the 115th Congress.
Grassley rose to first place in the study, climbing up from fifth most effective lawmaker in the U.S. Senate for the 114th Congress.
At the start of the 116th Congress in January, Grassley was sworn in as Senate President pro tem, placing him third in the presidential succession line. He also took up the reins of the Senate Finance Committee. From this chairmanship, Grassley is leading the way to reduce drug prices, open markets for U.S. goods and services, strengthen retirement savings tools and expand homegrown renewable energy.
“For the third time in his career, Senator Grassley has ranked as the most effective Senate lawmaker. As he moves to chair the Senate Finance Committee in the new Congress, the Center for Effective Lawmaking will be interested in watching how he translates his lawmaking skills to this new role,” said Craig Volden, Ph.D., professor of public policy and politics, associate dean for academic affairs, University of Virginia and co-director of the Center for Effective Lawmaking.
The Center for Effective Lawmaking is a project co-directed by professors from Vanderbilt University and the University of Virginia.