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Grassley Addresses a Possible Government Shutdown

WASHINGTON ñ In a statement late today, Senator Chuck Grassley discussed the reason there’s a federal government shutdown looming. |WASHINGTON ñ In a statement late today, Senator Chuck Grassley discussed the reason there’s a federal government shutdown looming, the message of the last election, and the need to support legislation to make sure U.S. service men and women are paid, if an agreement to fund the government is not reached.

Grassley said there’s still a debate about legislation to fund the current fiscal year of federal spending because last year’s Congress failed to pass any of the annual appropriation bills by the deadline of October 1, 2010. If those in charge last year, with historically large majorities and control of the White House, had met their responsibilities, there would not be the threat of a government shutdown today.

“Now the issue is whether or not Washington has gotten the message of the last election: to stop spending more money than we have,” Grassley said. “Washington can’t continue to borrow 40 cents of every dollar it spends. Taxpayers can’t sustain a budget that spends $3.7 trillion a year but collects $2.2 trillion a year. By overspending, today’s political leaders are leaving a legacy of debt to the next generation, mortgaging their opportunities, and getting in the way of America’s economic recovery and job creation today.”

Grassley also said that a government shutdown can be avoided. Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed, with bipartisan support, a bill to fund the government for another week, reduce federal spending another $12 billion, and fund the Defense Department for the remainder of the fiscal year.

“This solution would avoid a shutdown and make sure American service men and women deployed around the world would get their pay,” Grassley said. “If an agreement can’t be reached to fund the federal government for the remainder of the year, it’s unacceptable that political calculations by the White House and the Senate Majority Leader are getting in the way of passing legislation to pay American troops. That’s an awful sin for Congress to foist upon military families.”

The Senate Majority Leader, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, won’t bring up this bill. President Obama sent a message to Congress that he would veto this bill.

Grassley also is an original cosponsor of S.724, which would make sure U.S. military service personnel get their paychecks if there’s a government shutdown. The bill was introduced this week by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas.

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