It looks like he wants to pull the plug on Obama. In the past week the Iowa Senator has pressed the Administration to release its justification for drone assassinations; grilled Treasury Secretary nominee Jack Lew about his personal finances; and today threatened a hold on the Hagel nomination over questions on Benghazi. And according to The Daily Nonpareil‘s Tim Rohwer:
Grassley also criticized Obama’s tax policies, especially the lack of specifics.
“He never has to lay anything out in a specific way. He wants more revenue to spend more money and then he wants tax reform. If you are going to have tax reform, you can’t close tax loopholes and spend it. You’ve got to close loopholes and take ‘x’ number of dollars from the loophole you close to offset tax reform.”
With Grassley in the news so much lately — and since he’s a member of both the Senate Finance Committee and the Judiciary Committee, which will be very active in the coming few months — I thought this would be a good time to look at who donates what to him.
The ranking minority member of the Health Care Subcommittee exerts a great deal of influence over Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, among other programs. Perhaps not coincidentally, Grassley’s top donor is health insurance megaprovider Blue Cross Blue Shield, which has injected his campaigns with $90,000 since 1989. Amgen, a multinational pharmaceutical company, ranked second with nearly $80,000. Also in his top twenty list were supplemental health insurance providers AFLAC (14th); nursing home trade association the American Health Care Association (15th); the American Chiropractic Association (18th); and the American Hospital Association (20th).
Grassley, who sits on the Finance Committee, has also received plenty of money from groups with vital interests in tax and entitlement policy. The fourth largest bank in the US, Wells Fargo, has given him $63,000, putting them third on his list. Des Moines investment and insurance firm Principal Financial Group (fifth), Omaha investor Warren Buffett‘s conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway (tenth), and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (16th) have all pitched more than a few bucks his way.
The Senator and inveterate Tweeter also receives numerous contributions from communications corporations such as telecom Verizon (fourth) and its parent company AT&T (13th), as well as lobbyists the DCI Group (seventh), who advocate on telecom issues for clients such as the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (12th).
Agricultural machinery makers John Deere come in sixth, with their headquarters in Moline, Illinois. Electric utility company NextEra Energy ranks eighth on his list; like Verizon (third) and Wells Fargo (fourth) it spent millions of dollars lobbying Congress and subsequently paid no taxes from 2008-2010 — in fact these companies received hundreds of millions of bucks back in rebates. Rounding out his list are lobbying group the Associated General Contractors of America (ninth); British PR firm the WPP Group (11th); the National Auto Dealers Association (17th); and the National Beer Wholesalers Association (19th).