Government

Grassley marks 25 years in Senate voting streak

Last vote he missed was in '93 during Iowa flooding

Sen. Chuck Grassley speaks at an April 30 gathering sponsored by the Republican Party of Iowa at the Marriott in Cedar Rapids. On Friday, the senator marked 25 years of never having missing a vote in the U.S. Senate, a record 8,169 consecutive votes.  (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Sen. Chuck Grassley speaks at an April 30 gathering sponsored by the Republican Party of Iowa at the Marriott in Cedar Rapids. On Friday, the senator marked 25 years of never having missing a vote in the U.S. Senate, a record 8,169 consecutive votes. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

Sen. Chuck Grassley has extended his record-setting voting streak in the U.S. Senate to 25 years.

The Iowa Republican, who has the record for the longest length of time without missing a vote in the history of the Senate, has cast 8,169 consecutive votes.

The previous record was held by Democratic Sen. William Proxmire of Wisconsin. Grassley, 84, now in his seventh six-year term since being elected to the Senate in 1980, broke that in January 2016.

The last vote Grassley missed came in 1993 when he was in Iowa due to the severe floods that ravaged the state.

A prolific user of social media, Grassley tweeted Friday:

2 day marks 25YRS W/OUT MISSING A VOTE in the US Senate My last missed vote was July 14 1993 when I was home touring the flood damage w Sen Harkin & Pres Clinton My job is to represent the ppl of Iowa in the US Senate every day 1 way of doing that is not missing a vote!

After missing that vote, Grassley, who ranks third in Senate seniority behind Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy and Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, returned to Washington and began his current consecutive voting streak on July 20, 1993.

“Representative government only works when both the people and their elected representatives communicate and participate in the process,” Grassley said.

Visiting all 99 Iowa counties every year is part of that process for Grassley.

“Voting on behalf of the people of Iowa is the second half of the equation,” he said. “A missed vote is a missed opportunity to effectively represent Iowans.

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“I take my responsibility as a senator from Iowa very seriously. I want Iowans to know I’m on the job every day and not missing a vote is one way of doing that.”

l Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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