Congress is usually on recess during this week following the Fourth of July, but the U.S. Senate is in session as legislative leaders attempt to make progress on raising the nation’s debt ceiling. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, a Republican, says he’s not optimistic much in the way of substantial work will get done.
Grassley says, “Because there’s a small group of people, the president, the speaker of the house, the Democratic floor leader in the senate, so that’s two Democrats and one Republican, are basically the ones doing the negotiating.” Grassley says this week is “all show, no work.” The rest of the chamber is essentially window-dressing, he says, as those at the negotiating table can’t accomplish a great deal.
“They don’t have a product ready and if they don’t have a product ready, then the entire 100 members of the United States Senate can’t work on it,” Grassley says. “There’s other things we can do this week and we’re going to do this week but remember, we were called back for the sole purpose of accomplishing some progress on the legacy of debt that we’re facing.”
Grassley says it doesn’t make a lot of sense for the whole senate to have been recalled to Washington for this effort. “You don’t need a hundred senators around when three people are doing most of the negotiating,” Grassley says. “It’s kind of a sad commentary when we could have been accomplishing so much being in our state, holding town meetings, making the process of representative government work.”
He says he canceled about a dozen town meetings in Iowa that had been scheduled for this week. Most of those meetings were supposed to be held in southwest Iowa, a region being inundated by flooding.