Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who has increasingly come under pressure for doing nothing as the powerful Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced that he will be abdicating his chairmanship immediately after the 2020 presidential election.
Sen. Graham plans to hand the chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee back to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa.) in the next Congress.
Graham took over the panel this year from Grassley, who left to chair the Senate Finance Committee.
In an interview Thursday, Graham said Grassley asked to come back after his tenure on the Senate Finance Committee. Graham responded “absolutely.”
Senate Republicans allow their members to chair a committee for six years in total, regularly leading to rounds of musical chairs as senators face committee term limits.
Grassley has more seniority on the Judiciary Committee than Graham. Graham added that the Iowa Republican is “a very special friend” who has two more years in which he could be chairman of the Judiciary Committee.
Grassley’s role as chairman would depend on Republicans keeping the Senate in 2020.
Grassley said on Wednesday he would “absolutely” want to go back to being Judiciary chairman and spoke to Graham about the request in November.
As Judiciary chairman in the last Congress, Grassley oversaw the hotly contested confirmations of Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.