Senator Chuck Grassley is a reliable conservative. However, the Iowa Republican finds himself at the center of an escalating showdown with the Trump administration. (The Hill)
In statements included in the Congressional Record, Grassley placed a hold on David Satterfield’s nomination to be U.S. ambassador to Turkey, citing his role in trying to negotiate changes to the Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act, a bill sponsored by the Iowa GOP senator.
Grassley said the State Department did not raise concerns about the legislation before it passed. He added that Satterfield, in leading the department’s negotiations, won’t support changes that include language to “tangibly benefit victims.”
“Rather, my bill seemed an annoyance to State’s priorities and Ambassador Satterfield on several occasions vocalized his concern about the law’s impact on the Palestinian Authority, who have been found liable in U.S. courts for supporting terrorist attacks against Americans,” Grassley said.
He went on to say that he was “tired of our State Department putting the interests of alleged sponsors of terrorism over those of our own citizens. The State Department should work in good faith with Congress and victims by unambiguously demonstrating its support for restoring jurisdiction over sponsors of terrorism.”
Grassley’s law makes groups like the Palestinian Authority susceptible to litigation if they accept U.S. foreign aid, including security assistance.
Shortly before the law went into effect, State Department and White House officials attempted to negotiate changes that “maintain security cooperation on one hand and also justice to the families of the victims of terror.”