WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley announced Tuesday afternoon he has tested positive for COVID-19.
Grassley, 87, began to quarantine Tuesday morning after learning he was exposed to the coronavirus. He did not say how he was exposed.
Grassley issued the following statement:
“This morning, I learned that I had been exposed to the coronavirus. I received a COVID-19 test and immediately began to quarantine. While I still feel fine, the test came back positive for the coronavirus. I am continuing to follow my doctors’ orders and CDC guidelines. I’ll be keeping up on my work for the people of Iowa from home. I appreciate everyone’s well wishes and prayers, and look forward to resuming my normal schedule when I can. In the meantime, my offices across Iowa and in Washington remain open and ready to serve Iowans.”
Grassley is the longest-serving Republican U.S. senator. The Iowa Republican is the president pro tempore of the Senate, meaning he presides over the Senate in the absence of Vice President Mike Pence and is third in the line of presidential succession, behind Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The president pro tempore is the senator in the majority party who has served the longest.
By missing votes this week, Grassley will break a 27-year streak of not missing a single Senate vote. According to his office, the last time he missed a vote was in 1993, when he was in Iowa assisting with relief efforts after severe flooding.
Grassley was first elected to the U.S. House in 1974 and then to the Senate in 1980. He is the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and is expected to become the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee when a new Senate session begins in January.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.