WASHINGTON, D.C. — Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is not a late-night owl. But that’s not why he didn’t watch Tuesday night’s State of the Union in person, as he historically does. Grassley said he took a two-hour nap early Tuesday evening and got up to watch the speech on television as he continues to recover from surgery on his broken hip a month ago.
“My recovery is going well,” Grassley said. “And I would measure that by the fact that, over the last week, I’ve been able to dress myself. And that’s not easy when you have a broken hip.”
Grassley declined to weigh in on congressional Republicans who booed and jeered President Joe Biden during the speech because he wasn’t in the chamber to personally witness it, he said.
He did criticize the president for bringing up Republican plans to sunset Medicare and Social Security and require Congress to reauthorize the programs. Florida Senator Rick Scott, a Republican, proposed that idea, Grassley acknowledged, but he said Scott is the only member of the senate to support that idea.
Grassley said U.S. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy previously assured the president that Republicans would not support cutting entitlement plans like Medicare and Social Security.
“So, I think that was wrong on his part,” Grassley said. “He needlessly brought disunity when he has run on a platform to bring people together.”
Biden said during an event Wednesday that the Republican reaction to his Tuesday night speech effectively showed that the sides had a deal to protect Medicare and Social Security.