My campaign is focused on getting the truth out in whatever way I can. I wish my opponent and I could discuss these important issues on a debate stage, which my campaign has asked for numerous times, but since Senator Grassley has continuously declined or ignored the invitation, I guess we will have to go on doing it this way: Grassley peddling spin in emails to his list, and me having to bring things back to the facts. So here are the facts regarding the issue I know so many Iowans are concerned about, which is Charles Grassley’s voting record, particularly for this article, his votes to defund then-President Trump’s border wall.
One of the issues I have brought up in my campaign is that Senator Grassley voted to defund the construction of President Trump’s border wall. A claim which, despite Grassley’s best efforts to discredit, is 100% true. A claim which, by the way, is not just brought to light by me, but also by conservative organizations that rate lawmakers on their voting records such as the Conservative Review, which awarded Senator Grassley an F on his Liberty Scorecard, right alongside prominent Democrats such as Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Bernie Sanders, and AOC. This rating wasn’t for a questionable couple of votes taken out of context in a long record of conservative voting (and for someone who has been in office for 41 years serving as a Republican, he certainly has had a chance to rack up a record of conservative votes, but unfortunately he has not. Hence the primary challenge.) But no, instead, Senator Grassley would like you to ignore his voting record, most recently where he has voted with Biden 54% of the time, and spin a handful of votes over his entire career to paint himself as the conservative warrior that he most certainly is not.
As an attorney, I have a strong belief that everyone is entitled to a defense, even Senator Grassley. So let’s address this issue and lay out the facts so you, the voter, can be informed and make the decision that best aligns with your values. That is what my campaign is all about.
Grassley’s original tactic to defend himself on the border wall issue was to place the blame on President Biden for defunding Trump’s wall and not to address Grassley’s own voting record for or against the wall whatsoever. When my campaign cited his specific votes that I take issue with because they defunded the wall under then-President Trump, it appears Senator Grassley’s strategy took a turn. Currently, from what I can tell, he is trying to paint himself as a staunch border security advocate and spin his votes to make it look like they were taken out of context. Myself, the Conservative Review, and several of his Republican colleagues at the time of the votes in question would not agree with this defense.
A couple of the bills in question are H.J Res. 31, “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019” and H.R 2157 “Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act, 2019.” I have yet to hear Grassley specifically address what these bills were about, what they accomplished, or any other details whatsoever about them. He simply claims to support the border wall, citing that he allegedly voted 17 times to fund the wall (he does not name or provide information on all these 17 votes, that I’ve seen to date). To throw him a bone, he did take part in the border security debate on behalf of President Trump in the Senate with the “Secure and Succeed Act” which was an amendment considered on the floor. However, this amendment failed with a vote of 39-60 including 14 Republicans who voted against Grassley. The bill was never signed into law.
So, here are the facts, and if Grassley won’t talk about the specifics of these two bills, I certainly will. H.J Res. 31, “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019” and H.R 2157, were bills to fund government projects and avoid a government shutdown. President Trump had requested 8.6 Billion in the bill for crucial funding for the border wall. You can easily look up articles at the time and see for yourself that the border wall was central to the discussion surrounding these appropriations bills. The Democrats were fighting against including the funding and used avoiding a government shut down as leverage to back Trump into a corner and negotiate passage of the bill without the funding. I think it is important to note that several of Grassley’s Republican colleagues were fighting for the funding to be included.
Senator Marsha Blackburn was one of those Republicans, who stood with other Republicans and refused to vote for the appropriations bill if it did not include funding for the wall. She told the Leaf-Chronicle at the time that she believed funding the border wall was a necessity, saying “The border Patrol consistently says we need three things, and a barrier is one of those three things. They say this is what they need to deter illegal entry into this country, whether it is drugs or human traffickers or sex traffickers or gangs.” She is also quoted saying in reference to this particular bill: “We know walls work. This is about using our resources properly to protect our nation.” Hardly a bill that had nothing to do with border security.
Because of the passage of the spending bill without funding for the border wall, President Trump had to resort to Emergency Use Authorization in response to the border crisis, taking money from our military and our drug enforcement agencies in order to fund the wall. The second vote Grassley appears to try and disregard is his vote to not overturn this emergency use declaration. Grassley voted not to overturn it, which may seem like a decent vote, however, again, several of his Republican colleagues did not see it that way at the time.
Republicans who voted to overturn emergency use authorization such as Congressman Thomas Massie did so because they believed the funding should come from the appropriate channels and that it should have been included in the original spending bill instead of taking away from the military and drug enforcement agencies who relied on those funds for other crucial needs. “I support President Trump and I support the wall,” Rep. Massie tweeted at the time of this vote. “In fact, I voted to fund the wall for the full amount requested by @realDonaldTrump. I also called out President Obama when he tried to use his pen and phone to sidestep Congress on immigration, war, healthcare, and gun control.”
Grassley can certainly spin the votes the way he wants, and as a 7 term incumbent, he has the name recognition and exposure to peddle his spin to the media and to his trusting base. But the truth is, these votes did matter. They were important. And they did have consequences. If you’re a conservative, you want people in Washington fighting for border security. Grassley was in the Senate Majority, under a Republican President, and he had two chances surrounding these particular appropriations bills to vote no and fight for border funding, but he didn’t. He caved to Democrats’ priorities and passed the bill without the funding that President Trump had requested- which President Trump is on the record being outraged over at the time. Ask yourself this: if the spending bill did not defund the wall, then why did Democrats fight so hard and vote to pass it without the border wall funding in it?
I’m not trying to spin anything. If Iowans want a Republican who caves to Democrat priorities and votes for massive government spending that excludes crucial needs like border funding, then truly, they should cast their vote for Senator Grassley. All I can do is lay out the facts, provide the truth, and share my convictions on the issue. My convictions are this: When I see between 240,000 and 325,000 women and children are sex trafficked along the border per year, and that 914,469 lbs of drugs have poured over our border last year alone, and I learned that over 107,000 drug-related deaths happened in the U.S last year, I know that border security matters, and it is one of my top priorities. I do not believe in playing political baseball when it comes to the sex trafficking of children or the safety of our nation.
I believe in strong borders, and I am committed to fighting for them without pandering to Democrat priorities. I am a conservative, I know how to get tough things done, and I have a legislative record to back those claims up. I just want Iowans to know the truth, and to give them an opportunity to decide if their values align with Senator Grassley’s, or with mine.