chuck grassley

Watch Live: Senate Hearing on Heroin and Prescription Drug Epidemic

Ayotte holds a heroin epidemic roundtable discussion at the Lakes Region General Hospital in Laconia , N.H., on Aug. 26, 2015. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on the heroin and prescription drug abuse epidemic in the United States.

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, New Hampshire Sens. Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and other officials are among the witnesses expected to testify.

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of Jan. 18, 2016

Sen. Dan Coats returns to his "Waste of the Week" in this week's Hits and Misses. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Facing a shortened week and a massive snow storm, senators spent the week deep in thought on drones, rabbit massages and hungry cats.  

Office Space: Chuck Grassley's Iowa Farm

Grassley is interviewed in his Hart Building office, Jan. 21, 2015. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In this week’s edition of Office Space, Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, shows off his farming roots and his affinity for recycling.  

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of Nov. 30, 2015

Lawmakers returned from the Thanksgiving holiday ready for brawls, “iron-asses” and Christmas wishes.

Reid Whacks Grassley Over Clinton Emails, Nominees

Reid is firing at Grassley over State Department nominees. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Minority Leader Harry Reid opened the Senate's week by blasting Iowa Republican Sen. Charles E. Grassley for a blockade on ambassadors over former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's emails.  

"Many of these foreign service officers are always ready to serve at a moment's notice in hot spots throughout the world. Hot spots like Iraq and Afghanistan. They're not partisan. They're diplomats," Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said in a floor speech. "That's why it's troubling to see the senior senator from Iowa politicize these promotions." In a Monday afternoon statement responding to Reid's remarks, Grassley, the Judiciary Committee chairman, said he is holding 22 State Department nominees over unanswered questions about State's personnel rules and its policing of potential conflicts of interest.  

Grassley Praises Reversal of 'Ham-Handed' Prison Pork Policy

Grassley serves iced tea in the pork tent at the 2014 Iowa State fair. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

What happens when a farmer from Iowa is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee? Pork stays on the menu at federal prison cafeterias.  

In a letter sent Thursday to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Chairman Charles E. Grassley had questioned a change in policy that removed pork products from the facilities.  

Laughs and a Hug at Sentencing Overhaul Unveiling (Video)

Sen. Cory Booker and several other members of the Senate Judiciary Committee unveiled a bipartisan overhaul to the criminal justice system. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Cory Booker stood on a platform with eight other senators, holding back his desire to hug them all.  

The New Jersey Democrat was gushing with joy as he and many members of the Judiciary Committee announced a major overhaul to the criminal justice system, particularly on sentencing and recidivism reduction. The effort uniting senators from across the political spectrum, as well as disparate interest groups, is particularly notable in a Congress known more for hyper-partisanship.  

Bipartisan Overhaul of Prison Sentencing Due Thursday

Sen. John Cornyn, R-TX., and Sen. Charles "Chuck" Grassley, R-IA, both expect a criminal justice package to be introduced soon (Photo By Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to introduce a criminal justice overhaul Thursday morning, according to sources.  

Details for the long-awaited bill — expected to be supported by a broad coalition of diverse interests — are hard to come by from the tight-lipped alliance. One of the main hangups, reportedly, has been crafting statutory language over sentencing provisions, which are expected to give judges flexibility to adjudicate around mandatory minimums in some instances.  

Pope Francis Unlikely to Influence Sentencing Bill

Sen. John Cornyn and Sen. Charles "Chuck" Grassley both expect a criminal justice package to be introduced soon (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Argentine-born Pope Francis will visit prisoners in Philadelphia this week, fueling speculation that he'll make criminal justice reform part of his message on Thursday to Congress.  

But even though Sen. Charles E. Grassley has shown a willingness to revisit federal sentencing laws, the tough-on-crime chairman of the Judiciary Committee is unlikely to be persuaded by the Vatican leader. "We legislate according to American people," the Iowa Republican told CQ Roll Call on Wednesday.