Congress remains gridlocked on legislation to hold off the nation’s looming debt crisis, as President Obama and Republican House Speaker John Boehner gave dueling speeches on national TV last night. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley notes the president’s language, like when he warned Congressional Republicans of turning Americans into “collateral damage.”
“It was nothing but a political speech,” Grassley says. “Commentators on most networks last night were indicating that the president was caught off-guard, what happened over the weekend, particularly when even his own Senate Democratic leader put in a bill that didn’t have any tax increases in it.”
Grassley says the president’s speech contained some 2,200 words but he didn’t utter a single word about his own plan to control the deficit and raise the nation’s borrowing limit. “President Obama continues to call for what I believe are job-killing tax hikes,” Grassley says.
“Now, whether they’re job-killing tax hikes or not is one thing, but he sure is asking for big increases in taxes.” The president called the current environment of debate a “partisan three-ring circus” while Boehner countered by saying the current crisis is Obama’s own doing. Grassley agrees with his Republican colleague.
“The fact is, Washington has a spending problem, not a revenue problem,” Grassley says. “Even Senate Democratic leaders have acknowledged that with the plans that they introduced on Monday.” He says that view was also affirmed when the Senate shot down the president’s budget by a 97-0 vote.
Without some sort of legislative fix by the middle of next week, the federal government won’t be able to pay all of its bills and may face an unprecedented default.