CEDAR RAPIDS — Sen. Chuck Grassley will support a bipartisan budget compromise to suspend the debt ceiling and raise spending caps by $324 billion over the next two fiscal years rather than risk a federal government shutdown.
Grassley, who had been undecided, said Wednesday he will support the compromise, which senators are expected to vote on this week before leaving for their summer recess.
“I do not like the spending measures, but connected with it is an increase in the debt limit,” Grassley said. “If we don’t increase the debt limit we’re going to shut down government.”
That’s not something he wants to do.
“I’m going to keep the government functioning because the government is a service to the American people, and you can’t be a service to the American people if you don’t function,” the Iowa Republican told reporters.
The compromise has been approved by the House, 284-149. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell expects it will receive stronger GOP support in the Senate than in the House, where 65 House Republicans voted for the bill and 132 voted against it.
If the measure is not approved, Congress likely would approve month-to-month continuing resolutions or face a federal government shutdown in the fall. Grassley doesn’t want to see that because of the cost of shutting down and restarting the government.
“The 35-day shutdown earlier of this year is a repeat of a lesson, and I don’t want to repeat that again,” he said, referring to earlier shutdowns that didn’t yield the results Republicans wanted.
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The plans would suspend the debt ceiling through July 2021 and raise the spending caps over the levels imposed by a 2011 deficit reduction law.
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