Senator Chuck Grassley sent the following response to TheIowaRepublican.com regarding a column by Nathan Tucker that was published on Sunday:
Whether or not the 14th amendment applies to the current debate about the national debt ceiling, and I haven’t argued that it does or does not, Washington needs to respond directly to the message sent by voters in the last election. The message was that Washington overspends, and the overspending needs to stop. The debt-ceiling debate has forced a liberal president to move away from the do-nothing budget he sent to Congress in February, one which the Senate rejected on a 97 to 0 vote, to negotiations about reducing government borrowing by least $2 trillion dollars.
Substantial spending reductions need to happen, and no more excuses should be found to avoid it. In fact, dodging the issue is just why I voted last week for a procedure that would bring up debate on a resolution offered by Senator Harry Reid. I don’t agree with his resolution, but bringing it up was a way to try to force an actual debate in the Senate about the federal budget. It’s been well over two years since the Democratic majority in the United States Senate has passed a federal budget.
During just the last two years (in this budget-free zone), spending has increased 22 percent, not even counting the failed stimulus program. The federal debt has surpassed $14 trillion. Unfortunately, yesterday, Senator Reid again abdicated his responsibility for a responsible debate by blocking Republicans from offering amendments. I voted to stop Reid’s resolution as it became clear that his only intention, again, was to prevent any debate or Senate effort to take on the nation’s fiscal challenges.
Those of us who want to stop the spending spree need to keep the pressure on for meaningful action on legislation to reverse today’s legacy of debt for the next generation.
Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)
United States Senator
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