Grassley: ‘Jim Crow 2021’ Hearing ‘Diminishes’ the Real Challenges Blacks Suffered in Jim Crow South at the Hands of Dems

By Melanie Arter | April 20, 2021 | 1:50pm EDT
Ranking member Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-IA speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on voting rights on Capitol Hill in Washington,DC on April 20, 2021. (Photo by BILL CLARK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Ranking member Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-IA speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on voting rights on Capitol Hill in Washington,DC on April 20, 2021. (Photo by BILL CLARK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

( – Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) blasted Senate Democrats Tuesday for holding a hearing on voter suppression titled, “Jim Crow 2021: The Latest Assault on the Right to Vote,” saying that the title “diminishes the very real challenges and unfairness that minorities endured in the Jim Crow south at the hands of southern Democrats.”

“Now we all know this is supposed to be a hearing about voting rights. Unfortunately, it’s just the latest attack on one of our states for enacting election integrity laws. Pretty simple, national Democrats and big business have colluded to bully Georgia in retaliation for its new voting laws, but we’d be naïve to think that they’ll stop with the Peach state,” he said.

“Indeed, many of Georgia’s new provisions are similar to those that we have in my state of Iowa where we’ve experienced a record turnout and recently no instances of anyone being injured from voting,” the senator said. 

“I object to the title of this hearing. Like others on this committee, I’m a fan of history. I try to learn from it. I don’t use it to try to insult my opponents. As I said, the title of this hearing is offensive, and as a student of history, this title diminishes the very real challenges and unfairness that minorities endured in the Jim Crow south at the hands of southern Democrats,” Grassley said.

“The right to vote should not be political. We should all agree that participating in America’s democracy at the ballot box is a fundamental right. It’s a right we should want to protect, and it should not become a political football. At a time when voters on both sides of the aisle have doubts about the integrity of our elections, polarizing rhetoric [that] distorts history is not helpful,” he said.

The senator said he was eager to hear from Rep. Burgess Owens (R-Utah), who grew up in the Jim Crow south, and “what he thinks about these comparisons of voter ID requirements to the evil system of legalized racial oppression in which he grew up.”

“There’s a lot of falsehoods being peddled about the new Georgia law. When President Biden repeatedly said that Georgia ended voting hours early, the liberal Washington Post gave him four Pinocchios in its fact check. Their fact-checker was shocked that after the four Pinocchios, Biden kept repeating the same false claims,” Grassley said.

The senator also called out Democrats for engaging in what he called “economic terrorism” by pressuring companies to move their business out of Georgia in response to the law.

It goes to show that these claims about Georgia aren’t about truth, they’re about politics, and it goes beyond politics. The concerted efforts of liberals and allies to mislead about Georgia voting laws have had terrible effects on Georgia itself. There’s an organized campaign started to make big business punish the people of Georgia for their political choices. 

When you make political comments and it hurts people’s pocketbooks, that ought to be something … everybody’d be offended by. Most infamously, Major League Baseball moved the All-Star game from Atlanta – a move that’s likely to cost the city’s economy 100 million jobs, and that’s affecting the income of Georgians and probably some jobs in Georgia. 

A state senator lost his job at a prominent law firm after a political activist took a break from fleecing their donors to get him fired for his work as a citizen legislature. When partisans and companies collude to ruin the livelihoods of their opponents, there’s a term for that. It’s economic terrorism.

Grassley also pointed to polling that shows the majority of Americans oppose it when professional sports tries to influence politics and they support voter ID laws. He said he doesn’t understand why Democrats are against purging dead voters from the rolls. He also criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for trying to overturn the election results of the 2nd district of Iowa.

I have a statement for the record from our secretary of state, explaining how we worked to make election laws easy and honest. This last election showed why secure elections are necessary. We’ll be hearing from our Democrat friends that voter fraud is so rare that we don’t need to take steps to prevent it, but in Iowa 2nd district, Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks won a race last fall by just six votes. That’s six.

Every vote counts in Iowa, which means, they better be legitimate. In fact, during each election in Iowa, we find numerous instances of double voting. It’s not a big number, but it does happen, and with congressional races being decided by only six votes, it obviously matters. At the same time, I want to be clear. There’s no evidence of anyone being unable to vote in Iowa due to our voting security provisions. All this talk about the importance of voting from Democrats is less than amusing. 

Just last month, Speaker Pelosi tried to use the power of her majority to throw Dr. Miller-Meeks out of the House second district in Iowa even though her election was fully certified. It was fully certified by a committee of three elected Republicans and two elected Democrats. Her opponent didn’t want to admit she lost, but she skipped court, and Democrats’ super lawyer, who by the way is facing sanctions in Texas, tried to change the results of the House instead. 

When people will stop at nothing to win races, it’s more important than ever that our election laws be secure. Sadly, my friends on the others side seem to disagree. Elections and voting legislation that’s been proposed in Congress will take away the ability of states to establish their own voting rules.

hope to hear from Secretary Gardner why it’s so important for states like Iowa, New Hampshire, and Georgia to manage their own elections, and why federalized election rules are bad for election integrity and for voter participation. I hope to hear from President Pro Temp Jones about what really happened in Georgia, not the made-for-TV headlines about Jim Crow 2021, but a sensible, fair, common sense effort that they made to increase voter confidence in their election.

Basic claims of voter suppression are just as corrosive to our democracy as basic claims of voter fraud, and we heard too much about that from last November. We should all be committed to making elections accessible and secure to maintain the confidence of the voters, and when I hear about voter suppression and the loser in this election won by more--- lost by more, with votes than anybody, loser ever in the history of the country got, and the winner won by more than any winner in the history of elections, and you’re telling me about voter suppression, the way people turn out. Give me a break.

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