Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he’ll vote against the bi-partisan spending bill before the Senate this week. The so-called Ryan-Murray budget would allocate more than one-trillion dollars for the current fiscal year and aims to avoid another government shutdown.
Grassley, a Republican, says the agreement is flawed. “I’m going to oppose the budget deal because it’s based on the proposition that we can tax our way, or in this case, raise fees enough to get us out of a problem we’re in,” Grassley says. The budget bill was crafted by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin, and Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington.
Grassley says he’ll vote against the measure on principle. “We don’t have an overtaxing problem,” Grassley says, “we have an overspending problem.” While the budget contains a spending increase of around 62-billion dollars, it also includes 85-billion in increases in various fees and other efforts to reduce the deficit.
The two-year plan passed the House last week and Grassley predicts it will also pass in the Senate this week, likely on a vote of around 60-to-40 or 62-to-38. Grassley says, “The agreement particularly raises additional revenue to spend even though there is some reduction in the deficit but it does it from fees that are typically used for the purpose for which the fee’s paid.”
For example, he says airline passengers pay a fee — or a tax — for every ticket they buy that goes toward airport security, so he says that alone seems justified.
“If this money was going to go to enhance airport security and it was needed, I’d say there was a reason for raising the fee, but not to raise the fees to spend someplace else in the budget.”
Grassley expects both procedural and final votes on the budget bill this week in the Senate before adjournment for the holidays. Federal funding will run out as of January 15th.