Q&A with Senator Chuck Grassley: Season Of Thanksgiving

Q: What’s your message for Iowans this Thanksgiving Day?

A: As Americans, we are blessed to enjoy economic and individual freedoms that we must strive never to take for granted. Be grateful for the blessings of America’s agricultural abundance and natural resources that support U.S. food security and fuel our economy from sea to shining sea. Don’t shy away from the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. Benjamin Franklin imparted time-tested wisdom on the last day of the Constitutional Convention in 1787. After the Founders adopted a republic, he quipped “if you can keep it.” Earlier this month, elections were held around the country for local school boards, city councils and ballot initiatives. Our system of self-government derives its powers of, by and for the people through their elected representatives. I’m grateful for the privilege to represent Iowa in the U.S. Senate. Every day, I wake up eager to get to work on behalf of Iowans.

This month, we also celebrate Veterans Day. During this season of thanksgiving, it is fitting to honor the men and women who have served our nation in uniform. Thanks to their service and sacrifice, generations of Americans have enjoyed the freedom to own property, open a business, speak and worship freely, protest peacefully and pursue happiness. Thanksgiving Day got its origins from a November feast in colonial America to celebrate resiliency and survival. More than two centuries later, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a day of national Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November, urging Americans to come together and “heal the wounds of a nation.” Since World War II, Thanksgiving Day has been observed the fourth Thursday in November. Americans across the country travel from far and near to celebrate in thanksgiving with friends and loved ones. As you gather together around the table to enjoy turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and pumpkin pie, I encourage you to give thanks for the food you are about to eat and take a moment to reflect on the blessings we enjoy as Americans. Think about President Lincoln’s Thanksgiving proclamation to come together as Americans and heal the divisions that divide us in the 21st century. Give thanks for the troops protecting us and the farmers who feed us. As Ukraine enters its second year of war fighting for its sovereignty and Israel wages war against the militant terrorist attacks on Oct. 7, let’s stand in solidarity for freedom, democracy and our shared values for human life and the rule of law.

Q: How do you celebrate Thanksgiving?

A: Like households across the country, the Thanksgiving meal takes center stage for our family on this national holiday. I pitch in to help get the house ready for company as mouth-watering aromas begin to fill the air. I look forward to having many members of the family gathered together on the farm for the Thanksgiving feast. Although I’m thankful inflation has cooled a bit from 40-year highs, Americans are still digging deeper into their wallets under the Biden administration to pay for groceries, housing and everyday essentials.

Let’s talk turkey. Prices started climbing soon after President Biden took office and still are painfully higher than three years ago. The Biden administration ignored warnings not to fuel the fires of inflation and poured trillions of dollars into the economy in pursuit of a partisan agenda. Overheating the economy resulted in 40-year high inflation that is forcing Americans to pay more for less. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual survey, Thanksgiving groceries cost 25 percent more in 2023 than 2019. That’s a wake-up call for Washington. The White House and Congress need to stop using the federal budget as a gravy train and gobbling up borrowed money to pay for an insatiable spending appetite. As the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, I’ll continue leading the way to cut wasteful spending and heal what’s broken in the federal budget.

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