By Beacon Staff
U.S. Senator Charles Grassley visited the Burlington Kiwanis Club Thursday, speaking about the often unseen bipartisanship that makes Congress work.
Grassley is in the middle of his 99-county tour of Iowa -- an annual tradition for the senator. Several club members pressed Grassley with their concerns about the widening gap between Democrats and Republicans.
Grassley, a Republican, said much of the derision between the two parties is trumped up by the media.
“There is too much partisanship, but there’s not as much as you think,” Grassley said. “Journalists are always talking about controversy and they’re always talking about in-fighting. There’s not a single senator I dislike, and I don’t think there’s a single senator that dislikes me. If there is, I don’t want to know about it, because I have to work with these people.”
Grassley spoke about illegal immigration, saying that solutions to the border crisis are stagnating because President Joe Biden won’t enforce immigration laws.
Tom Broeker and others laugh and applaud while listening to U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley speak to Burlington Kiwanis Club members and their guests, Thursday, July 6, at the Burlington Golf Club. Sen. Grassley was in Burlington as part of his 43rd annual tour of each of Iowa's 99 counties. Following his stop in Burlington the senator was heading to Mount Pleasant for a meeting.
Grassley also took aim at the lack of transparency in the pharmaceutical industry, calling out the PBM (Pharmacy Benefit Manager) program. A PBM is a third-party administrator contracted by health plans, employers, unions, and government entities to manage prescription drug programs.
The PBM acts as a fiscal intermediary between insurers and pharmacies, and Grassley is working to bring transparency to PBMs. Grassley is sponsoring a bill with a Democratic senator to demand that transparency.
“They are such an opaque operation. The middle people, between the pharmaceutical companies and you, the consumer. We don’t think it should be an opaque operation,” Grassley said.
U.S. representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks attended Thursday’s Kiwanis meeting, as did local officials and dignitaries.