CEDAR RAPIDS — Sen. Chuck Grassley, who has served on the Senate Judiciary Committee since arriving in the Senate in 1981, is leaving open the possibility that he will relinquish his chairmanship.
Grassley has led the committee that has jurisdiction over the Department of Justice and Supreme Court nominations since January 2015. By Senate GOP rules, he can hold the position for six years.
There’s been speculation that Grassley might hand the gavel over to South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham. In fact, Graham raised that possibility in a tirade during the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearing.
“If I’m chairman next year, I’m going to remember this,” Graham said, referring to Democrats’ comments and actions during the hearings.
Grassley, during an interview Wednesday with radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt, neither confirmed nor denied talk of a change of chairmen.
Grassley will be the GOP senator with the most seniority after Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch of Utah retires at the end of this term. Hatch has led the Finance Committee for four years, so he could return to that position for two years.
“I’m not going to make that decision until Nov. 7,” Grassley told Hewitt about committee chairmanship.
Re-elected to a seventh term in 2016, Grassley’s term runs through 2022.
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