Sen. Grassley. (file photo)

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley says President Biden should focus tonight’s State of the Union speech on federal spending plans.

“The Biden Administration must change course and move away from the fiscal insanity and partisan politics that dominate Washington,” Grassley said this morning during a telephone conference call with reporters.

Resetting the federal budget to pre-pandemic spending levels would be the place to start, according to Grassley. “During 2020, there was about $3 trillion spent to get us back on track after the government shut down the economy,” Grassley said. “Then we go back to that level of spending in 2020 and add to it whatever needs to be added to it, but we don’t use the present baseline to continue spending.”

As lawmakers craft the next federal budget, Grassley says more should be spent to replenish U.S. stockpile of weapons that have been shipped to Ukraine. Grassley said Medicaid and Social Security benefits need to be restructured, but that should be a separate conversation.

“You’ve got to tackle our entitlement programs by themselves and when we do tackle them, we’re got to make sure that people who are on retirement or close to retirement don’t get cut,” Grassley said.

Grassley cited the reforms adopted 38 years ago as a guide, suggesting any changes for younger Americans’ Social Security and Medicare benefits be slowly phased in over several decades.

Radio Iowa