Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Ia.) announced on Friday that he will be stepping down from his position as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee to become the chair of the Senate Finance Committee.
He plans to serve as Finance Committee Chairman for the full 116th Congress and will switch roles in January when committees are organized, according to a statement from his office.
"The economy is better than it's been in years and there's a sense of optimism about the future of our country that people haven't felt in a long time thanks to the pro-growth policies of a Republican president and a Republican majority in Congress," Grassley said in the statement. "Looking ahead, at the Finance Committee, I want to continue to work to make sure that as many Americans as possible get to experience this good economy for themselves."
“There’s always more that can be done to help make life better for and empower every individual and family,” he said. “I look forward to working with other senators, both Republican and Democratic, to get the job done.”
His departure means that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), his second in line on the committee, will likely take over.
“Grassley and Graham both played high profile roles in the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, standing out as staunch defenders of Kavanaugh,” as Fox News reports. “Based on seniority, Graham is poised to be named chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Graham, a close ally of President Trump, would oversee the president's judicial nominations.”
Graham on Friday tweeted that Grassley's "leadership serves as a model to us all.”
He added in a following tweet that if he is "fortunate enough to be selected" to replace Grassley as chairman, he "will push for the appointment and Senate confirmation of highly qualified conservative judges to the federal bench and aggressive oversight of the Department of Justice and FBI."
Grassley previously served as Finance Committee Chairman in 2001 and from 2003 to 2007.
He was the first non-lawyer to be elected chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He served as chairman since January 2015, playing a huge role in President Trump’s success in advancing dozens of judicial nominees to confirmation.