Thursday, Jul. 16, 2009

Charles Grassley

Republican Senator from Iowa

The ranking Republican on the Finance Committee, he is not normally thought of as an intellectual, a dealmaker or someone dedicated to expanding health-care coverage to every American. But having built a reputation as a fiscal conservative and watchdog over the Executive Branch, Grassley is now in regular talks with Baucus and other Democrats about finding common ground. If he decides to join hands with the Democrats, the Iowa Senator could single-handedly make a grand bipartisan bargain much more likely. Stubborn and sometimes hard to read, Grassley remains an enigma to the White House, despite remaining surprisingly open to searching for areas of agreement. Still, in the end, he's unlikely to be part of any deal.