Dems Rip Grassley Over Pro-Health Care Reform Bill Statement

Congressional Quarterly/Newscom

The DSCC had strong words for Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who issued a press statement today taking credit for a provision of the health care bill about charity hospitals he authored.

“Chuck Grassley has been in Washington for too long if he thinks Iowans did not notice his strenuous, strident, and spirited opposition to health care reform,” DSCC spokesperson Eric Schultz said in a statement. “This is someone who did everything he could to stop the bill, but now thinks it is worth touting.”

A Grassley spokesperson told me that those criticizing Grassley’s press release today are making much ado about nothing.“It’s common-sense that a single piece of legislation can have provisions that are appealing and others that are unpalatable,” the spokesperson said. “Senator Grassley has always said there are some good things in the evolving health care package, including the items he initiated.”

The spokesperson said it that calling Grassley a hypcrite was twisting the facts.

“Senator Grassley has not been in control of the outcome in any respect at all, so it’s specious to hold him responsible for those who took the legislation, with some elements that he supported, in a direction contrary to his basic views,” she said. “What’s really hypocritical is to accuse someone of hypocrisy for saying there are some good things in a Democratic bill in this supposed era of post-partisanship.”

The Democrats don’t have the same take, suggesting that Grassley’s trying to have it both ways by slamming a bill as purely partisan that he admits has language in it that he wrote.

“Either he is a total hypocrite or he has taken March Madness to a whole new level,” Schultz said in the DSCC statement today.