A powerful, moderate senator says he supports the idea of giving taxpayers some control over Social Security assets.[@@]

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said today at a speech in Washington that the Bush administration proposal to offer workers some control over investment of Social Security program contributions now has little momentum.

“Nobody in Congress wants to deal with it,” Grassley said.

But Grassley said he personally supports the concept and hopes to make Social Security private accounts a priority this summer.

“I relish the opportunity to deal with it,” Grassley said.

Grassley praised Bush for going around the country to get people behind the plan and build the support that some members of Congress feel they need before they can talk about the plan.

Grassley says he supports the private account concept because it could give holders more opportunity to leave money to their survivors; could help ease the resentment young workers may feel about changes in Social Security; and may help overcome low-income workers’ inability to come up with spare cash that they can save.