Congress returns to work this week after a long recess. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he’s confident he and his colleagues will tackle several issues in the short time remaining before year’s end, items ranging from the federal budget to funding fights against Ebola and ISIS. Grassley, a Republican, says he hopes for cooperation between Congress and the White House.
“I think that President Obama should work with Congress,” Grassley says. “We can do things without him but it’s a lot easier to do things with him.” Grassley hopes President Obama was genuine in his post-election speech about wanting to accomplish a series of goals in doing the work of the American people, preaching cooperation between the executive and legislative branches of government.
Grassley says, “What would he gain by vetoing bills that he might not like us to pass, whereas, if he would work with us and find consensus, he could sign bills and we could be very productive.” When January arrives, Republicans will hold a majority of seats in both the U.S. House and, for the first time in eight years, the Senate.
Democratic Senator Harry Reid will no longer be the majority leader, which Grassley says clears a path for progress. “At least the Republican Congress is going to be able to move the ball down the court,” Grassley says. “Reid stood in opposition to it as evidenced by 380 bills passing the House of Representatives not being considered in the Senate.” The lame duck session of Congress opens Wednesday after a six-week break for the elections.
Grassley says the priorities include a budget bill that will carry the federal government beyond the temporary spending measure which expires December 11th, as well as considering nominees for a new Attorney General and several judicial posts.