Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley says he is not questioning the White House’s vetting of potential federal judges after three judicial nominees were recently rejected.
Grassley says it’s not that the rejected nominees lack legal capabilities, rather, they "probably lack good judgment."
"And you want judges that are going to have good judgment—more important, a better word would be judicial temperament, meaning they’re going to leave their own views out of cases," Grassley says.
He says two nominees made troubling comments in the past about the KKK and transgender people, and the third couldn’t answer "elementary legal questions" posed by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Grassley says the Senate has still confirmed the most circuit court judges ever in the first year of a presidency.
Iowa's senior senator also says he is confident Senate Republicans will vote to pass a tax overhaul Tuesday night or Wednesday.
“I think every Republican is going to vote for it except [Sen. John] McCain, who’s going to be absent because of [cancer treatment] recovery. So that would be 51 [Republican votes] to 48 [Democratic votes]," Grassley says. "But let’s just say there are two who don’t want to vote for it—we can still pass this on a 49-48 vote."
Grassley rejects studies of the tax bill that find it will be more beneficial for wealthy Americans than for low and middle income taxpayers. He touted the bill’s removal of the individual insurance mandate under the Affordable Care Act, a move that is expected to increase premiums and lead to about 13 million Americans becoming uninsured.
The U.S. House is scheduled to vote on the tax plan Tuesday.