When federal budget cuts kick in Friday, the world won’t end, but Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says some reports would make you think as much. Grassley, a Republican, says the people at the federal Office of Management and Budget “don’t know what they’re talking about,” when it comes to sequestration.
He quotes an OMB report from September about the looming budget cuts. “The National Drug Intelligence Center would lose 2-million of its $20-million budget,” Grassley says. “While that’s slightly more than 8.2%, the bigger problem is that the National Drug Intelligence Center shuttered its doors on June the 15th, 2012, three months before OMB issued its report to Congress.”
Some reports say the federal budget cuts will mean important jobs like air traffic controllers and food inspectors will be fired, that cities will have to let firefighters and police officers go, and even the Washington Monument will be closed. Grassley says it’s all just a scare tactic.
“Those things aren’t going to happen,” he says. “Is there going to be some adjustments? Of course there’s going to be adjustments. There’s adjustments right here in my office. Six-percent two years ago and five-percent for the year we’re in. We’re getting by. People aren’t getting pay raises for two years in a row, but then families go through the same thing.”
Grassley lays the blame at the feet of Democrats, chiefly President Obama, who he chides for going on an expensive “road show” aboard Air Force One to promote his views on the budget cuts. “He’s on this airplane going all over the country,” Grassley says.
“Why doesn’t he invite Republican leaders to be on the plane with him? There’s a lot of hours wasted flying around when he could be negotiating. Or he could, better yet, stay here in Washington D.C. and sit down with members of Congress and work things out.”
One report says it costs $180,000 an hour to operate Air Force One. A researcher from Iowa State University says sequestration will amount to $292-million in Iowa, which he says will eventually cost the state more than 3,500 jobs.