Fact Checker: Is US Senator Chuck Grassley a Multimillionaire?
Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, speaks with reporters on June 16 as he arrives for a Senate vote on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo / Jacquelyn Martin)
Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa has not announced whether he will seek re-election in 2022.
But Democrats still campaigned against the seven-term senator, with a midterm election about 15 months away.
Former U.S. 1st District Representative Abby Finkenauer described Grassley as someone “out of touch” with the Iowans since she applied for the job on July 22.
In a July 31 tweet which included a link to donate to his campaign, Finkenauer called Grassley “a multimillionaire who has owned a house in Washington since I was 5”.
The Fact Checker contacted the Finkenauer campaign for his supply behind claims that Grassley is a multimillionaire and has owned a home in the nation’s capital since Finkenauer was 5 years old. But a campaign manager did not respond to the request.
First, let’s see if Grassley is a multimillionaire.
As a member of the United States Senate, Grassley is required to submit a financial disclosure form each year that contains information about its assets and transactions for the previous calendar year. Each asset listed has a wide range of what it’s worth.
Open secrets, a non-partisan website dedicated to tracking money in politics, used these reports to estimate the net worth of each congressman. The most recent estimates available use data from the 2018 financial information.
Grassley’s estimated net worth was $ 7.6 million in 2018, according to Open Secrets. About $ 1.2 million has been invested in his family farm in Butler County. Between 2008 and 2018, Grassley’s estimated net worth never fell below $ 2.5 million.
He is far from the only multimillionaire on Capitol Hill, according to Open Secrets estimates. Among those at the Congress in 2018, 171 had an estimated net worth of at least $ 2 million.
Finkenauer, on the other hand, was one of the poorest new members of Congress with an estimated net worth of $ 12,500.
Nonetheless, Finkenauer’s claim that Grassley is a multimillionaire matches his financial disclosure forms.
As to whether Grassley had owned a home in Washington since Finkenauer was 5, the fact-checker reviewed property records from the appraiser’s office in Arlington, Virginia.
Records show Grassley bought a house in Arlington, a suburb of Washington, DC, on November 3, 1994. It was 54 days before Finkenauer’s sixth birthday.
Grassley did not sell the property for the next 27 years, proving that the second part of Finkenauer’s claim is also correct.
His property is valued at $ 818,400, according to the appraiser’s office. He bought it for $ 375,000.
Public records support both sides of Finkenauer’s claims about Grassley. It should be noted that Grassley is far from the only multimillionaire in Congress, but that doesn’t detract from Finkenauer’s claims. We give it an A.
The Fact Checker team checks statements made by an Iowa political candidate or national candidate about Iowa, or in advertisements that appear in our marketplace.
Complaints must be independently verifiable.
We assign marks from A to F based on accuracy and context.
If you spot a complaint that you think needs to be verified, email us at [email protected]
This Fact Checker was researched and written by John Steppe of The Gazette.