Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says his staff is already at work, wading through the $1.1-trillion spending plan that was unveiled last night to keep the federal government running through October.
While the legislation is enormous, at almost 1,600 pages, Grassley says he’s not too concerned about big financial surprises being hidden inside by congressional negotiators. “You’ve got to remember that these subcommittees of the appropriations committees have held hearings on various issues,” Grassley says. “There’s been discussions of how much money ought to be spent here or there.”
Grassley, a Republican, says the overwhelming majority of the massive document involves rubber-stamping spending plans that have been repeatedly scrutinized in open hearings. “I have staff as well as my own effort following these throughout the course of a year,” Grassley says. “What’s finalized, to a great deal, follows patterns of previous years.”
The House is expected to vote on the measure tomorrow, while it will likely go before the Senate on Friday or Saturday. It may seem like a fast turnaround, but Grassley says it’s typical. Grassley says, “We will have five or six different people on my staff, plus my own reading, going through it with a fine tooth comb.” A short-term spending bill will expire at tomorrow night at midnight, though an extension is expected to be passed today.
That new extension should give lawmakers through Saturday night to put the budget to a final vote and send it on to the White House.