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Sen. Grassley says pending government shutdown is ‘idiocy’


September 27th, 2023 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – With a federal government shutdown looming this weekend, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says it’s “idiocy” to be going through this process again. The U-S Senate has created a bipartisan package that’s designed to temporarily fund the government but indications are, the House likely won’t be able to finish its work before Saturday’s deadline. Grassley, a Republican, says he can’t predict what will happen. “The Senate this week is going to concentrate on just the government not shutting down, and hopefully pass a bill, without waiting to see what the House is going to do,” Grassley says, “and we started that last night with getting 60 or more votes.”

Grassley says the House is making a “serious attempt” to avert a shutdown, while the Senate’s stop-gap measure should be finished on Friday in plenty of time to meet the deadline. “Now, that doesn’t mean that we’re going to go home for the weekend, because I think we’ll be here Saturday and Sunday, and if government shuts down, I don’t think it’d look very good for me to be in Iowa,” Grassley says. “So I’ll probably be here this weekend and probably be forced to be here this weekend anyway because we’re in session.” The government shutdown would impact millions of federal workers, though many others would be forced to work without pay. In the past, they’ve always gotten backpay once the government restarts, but Grassley says there’s no guarantee that will happen.

“Under the 27th Amendment, Congress has to be paid and all these other people can’t be paid,” Grassley says. “So can’t you consider the idiocy of shutting down the government? I would hope that would embarrass enough members of both houses to make sure that we don’t shut down the government.” While saying he loves his job, Grassley says the three most frustrating things about being a U-S senator are: 1) the inconsistency of air travel, 2) blizzards in northwest Iowa during January and February, and 3) government shutdowns.