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WASHINGTON — Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the oldest Republican senator at age 88 and a major player in securing confirmation of dozens of conservative federal judges, announced Friday that he will seek another six-year term.

‘’It’s 4 a.m. in Iowa so I’m running,’’ Grassley said in a predawn tweet that included an image of him jogging. ‘’I do that 6 days a week. Before I start the day I want you to know what Barbara and I have decided. I’m running for re-election — a lot more to do, for Iowa. We ask and will work for your support. Will you join us?’’

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The decision by Grassley, who has served in Congress since Jimmy Carter’s presidency, boosts Republican prospects for holding the seat next year, when control of the chamber will be at stake. Recent polling has shown Grassley with a sizable lead over Democratic challenger Abby Finkenauer.

Perhaps Grassley’s most consequential impact on the country has been his recent tenure as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, a position that gave him significant influence in pushing through the nominations of dozens of judges during the Trump presidency as well as three Supreme Court justices, including the divisive nomination of Brett M. Kavanaugh.

In 2016, Grassley backed the decision by then-Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, to deny Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s nominee to the high court, a vote let alone a confirmation hearing, keeping the seat vacant for about a year.

With Democrats controlling the Senate, Grassley is the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee.

On legislation, Grassley joined with Democrats in pushing for criminal justice reform and built a reputation for heralding and protecting whistleblowers, frequently tangling with the Trump administration as the former president repeatedly fired inspectors general for the agencies and departments.

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Washington Post

Congresswoman plans to run for mayor of Los Angeles

Representative Karen Bass, Democrat of California, is planning to announce that she will run for mayor of Los Angeles in 2022, according to two people with knowledge of the situation, joining a high-stakes race to run the second-most populous city in the country.

The people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private deliberations, said an official announcement is expected soon. It will possibly happen next week, barring unexpected changes, they said.

‘’Los Angeles is facing a humanitarian crisis in homelessness and a public health crisis in the disproportionate impact this pandemic has had on Angelenos,’’ Bass spokesman Zach Seidl said in a statement, when asked for comment. ‘’She does not want to see these two issues tear the city apart. Los Angeles has to come together. That’s why the Congresswoman is considering a run for mayor.’’

Bass is a close ally of President Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California. She was a finalist to be Biden’s running mate last year and was a lead negotiator on Capitol Hill in bipartisan talks to overhaul policing laws. Those talks ended this week.

The congresswoman is a longtime veteran of California politics and one of the most prominent Black women in government. Before joining Congress, she was a state lawmaker and activist.

Washington Post

Author seeking Ohio Senate seat defends Texas abortion law

J.D. Vance, the author and venture capitalist running for the GOP nomination for a Senate seat from Ohio, this week defended the Texas abortion law and argued against the need for exceptions for rape and incest in such restrictive statutes, downplaying such circumstances as ‘’inconvenient.’’

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When asked during a local interview whether abortion laws should include exceptions for rape and incest, Vance, a Republican, said he thinks ‘’two wrongs don’t make a right.’’

‘’It’s not whether a woman should be forced to bring a child to term, it’s whether a child should be allowed to live, even though the circumstances of that child’s birth are somehow inconvenient or a problem to the society,’’ Vance told Spectrum News in Columbus on Wednesday.

‘’The question to me is really about the baby,’’ Vance added. ‘’We want women to have opportunities, we want women to have choices, but, above all, we want women and young boys in the womb to have a right to life.’’

Vance argued that society should not view ‘’unborn babies as inconveniences to be discarded.’’

Vance, the author of the 2016 bestseller ‘’Hillbilly Elegy,’’ launched his Senate bid in July, joining an already crowded Republican primary field in a race to replace the retiring Republican Senator Rob Portman.

Washington Post

Boebert paid rent, utilities with campaign funds

WASHINGTON — Representative. Lauren Boebert, Republican of Colorado, used campaign funds to pay for her rent and utility bills, her campaign revealed in a new filing this week with the Federal Election Commission, first reported by Forbes and the Denver Post.

The filing provided further detail on four Venmo payments Boebert had made in May and June, totaling $6,650, that had been described in a previous FEC report as personal expenses. In August, the FEC sent a letter to Boebert’s campaign flagging those disbursements as possibly constituting personal use of campaign funds and warning of possible legal action if she did not provide clarification.

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A report her campaign submitted to the FEC on Tuesday specified that Boebert had made those four payments — two each of $2,000 and two each of $1,325 — to John Pacheco, and described them as rent and utilities ‘’billed to [the] campaign via Venmo in error.’’ The report also noted that Boebert had reimbursed her campaign for those expenses, and that those reimbursements would be reported in the next FEC filing period.

In the report, Boebert’s campaign listed Pacheco’s address as 120 E. 3rd Street in Rifle, Colo. — the same address as Shooters Grill, a restaurant Boebert and her husband own, as well as a former marijuana dispensary next door that was converted into Boebert’s campaign office.

However, no public records show Pacheco affiliated with that address. A deed shows Pacheco as the owner of a two-bedroom townhouse on Capitol Hill, and interior pictures from a Zillow listing for that townhouse show elements that match the background from recent interviews Boebert has given from home.

Reached by phone Thursday, Pacheco confirmed Boebert was his tenant in Washington but said he had ‘’no idea’' whether her rent money had been paid through her campaign or about anything regarding the amended FEC reports.

‘’I just collect the rent. I don’t know where the funds come from,’’ Pacheco told The Washington Post. He declined to comment further.

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A representative for Boebert did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday or to questions seeking to clarify why her campaign had specified that her landlord’s address was the same as that of her restaurant and campaign office. Boebert spokesman Ben Stout told CNN that the funds ‘’were reimbursed months ago when Rep. Boebert self-reported the error.’’

Washington Post