With only a few days available for work before Congress goes into recess until after the November elections, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he’s frustrated that no votes are scheduled in the Senate today or Tuesday. A short-term spending plan that would avert a government shutdown is expected to pass on Wednesday which Grassley says will keep things running for another six months.
Grassley says, “The fact that we have to have a continuing resolution, in other words, not doing our work passing the appropriation bills, brings to my attention that there’s been no budget for three years in addition to not having appropriations bills this year.” He says the measure includes $6-billion for FEMA disaster relief and another $88-billion for ongoing operations overseas.
Other legislation that’s of particular importance to Iowans, like the farm bill or a measure to extend tax credits to the wind industry, are all on hold. “There’s absolutely no plan by either the White House or the majority on what to do about the fiscal cliff at the end of this year,” Grassley says.
“There’s no plan on tax reform. In every respect of getting things done, the Senate’s been out to lunch.” He says something has to give to end the partisan gridlock but notes, “it’s obviously not going to give between now and the election.” Grassley, a Republican, says a change at the top of the executive branch could bring the needed changes.
Grassley says, “Bringing Romney in, with his working with a Democrat legislature in Massachusetts and getting a lot of important things done, I think we can see a President Romney as a person that can work with the legislative body whether it’s Republican or Democrat-controlled or one house Republican, one house Democrat like it is now.”
Grassley remains hopeful that several key bills, including the wind energy tax credit, will go to a vote after the November elections. Some 7,000 Iowans work in the wind industry at more than 250 different businesses.