JOHNSTON — Republican Senator Chuck Grassley says he’d support a bill that would essentially outlaw government shutdowns. The law would automatically extend spending if an agreement isn’t reached by midnight on September 30 when the federal fiscal year ends.
“Something like (this)…You don’t shut the government down, that you have a process of you extend it for two weeks and if you don’t get it done in those two weeks, another two weeks,” Grassley says, “but after a month if you don’t get it done, congress works seven days a week until we get this thing settled.”
A small group of House Republicans are refusing to support a short term spending bill and are ready to force a government shutdown to secure deeper cuts in the federal budget. Grassley says there are practical and political costs to shutting down the federal government. “So you shut it down. You want to accomplish what you want to through leverage of shutting down the government and then you get so much public pressure you open government up. It costs money to open government up and you still haven’t accomplished what you wanted to accomplish,” Grassley says, “so there ought to be lessons learned from previous shutdowns.”
Grassley has been a member of congress during every government shutdown in U-S history. The very first government shutdown happened in 1976, when Grassley was a member of the U-S House. Grassley was a U.S. Senator in 2013 when the federal government shutdown for 16 days as Republicans protested President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. “It costs money to shut the government down. It costs money to open up the government,” Grassley says. “Government’s a service to the people of this country and you can’t be a service if you aren’t operating.”
Grassley made his comments during a recent appearance on the Iowa Press program on Iowa PBS.