Iowa Republican Charles “Chuck” Grassley will take over leadership of the Senate finance committee at the start of the 116th Congress, replacing Sen. Orrin Hatch, who is retiring.

Grassley, who is giving up the chairmanship of the judiciary committee, said on Friday that he wanted to continue to work “to make sure that as many Americans as possible get to experience this good economy for themselves.”

Included in that is “giving small businesses more of the tools they need to hire additional workers, invest in their companies, and give their employees the benefits and wages they’ve earned,” Grassley said. Expanding market opportunities for farmers, manufacturers, and service providers to “export more ‘made-in-America’ goods and services all across the globe for the benefit of workers in all of these valued sectors of the American economy” is another of Grassley’s priorities.

Sen. Charles E. Grassley

As Senate finance chief, Grassley “will be one of the key figures to move trade deals with Canada and Mexico through Congress,” reported Bloomberg.

This will be Grassley’s third stint as chair of the finance committee, having served two stints in the early and mid-2000s.

Prior to the financial crisis, Grassley pushed for things like narrowing the exemption used by big hedge funds to avoid registering with the Securities and Exchange Commission and targeting the accountants, lawyers, and compensation consultants who advised executives to backdate stock options.

More recently, in 2015, he helped introduce the PCAOB Enforcement Transparency Act, arguing the secrecy of the board’s disciplinary proceedings benefits accounting firms that engage in misconduct. He also pushed for an investigation of the litigation finance industry.

Earlier this year, Grassley co-introduced a bill to protect federal government whistleblowers.

Grassley is eligible to serve as head of the Senate finance panel for one full Congress. If Grassley had stayed as head of the judiciary committee, Utah Sen. Mike Crapo was the likely candidate to take over finance, said The Morning Call.

Photo: Gage Skidmore, via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

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