Iowa’s senior Senator Chuck Grassley has been nominated to be third in line of the presidential succession.
The Senate Republican majority of the upcoming 116th Congress unanimously nominated Sen. Grassley to be Senate pro tempore. He is expected to be elected to the position by the full Senate in early January.
The pro tempore is the third in line of the presidential succession, following the vice president and speaker of the House of Representatives.
The position is historically given to the most senior member of the majority party in the Senate. Grassley has represented Iowa for 38 years and was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1980. He will be replacing Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah.
“This is an honor for me and the state of Iowa. The President pro tempore is one of a handful of offices specifically named by the Founders in the Constitution,” Grassley said. “I may only be three heartbeats away from the Oval Office, but my heart is and always will be in Iowa and here in the U.S. Senate, where I’ve worked for the people of Iowa and our nation for 38 years. My commitment to representative government and the deliberative body of the U.S. Senate is stronger than ever. I’ll work to see that we uphold the Senate as a check on the executive and judicial branches of government, including our constitutional authority to provide advice and consent.”
The only other Iowan to hold the office was Sen. Albert B. Cummins, who was chosen in 1919.