Sen. Grassley Hopes to Avoid Shutdown

Sep 8, 2015

The U.S. Congress is back at work with a lengthy agenda for a short month and the federal budget squarely in its sights. Iowa's senior senator, Republican Chuck Grassley, says the Waters of the U.S rule (WOTUS) is in the cross-hairs.

That rule, which extends Clean Water Act regulations to more bodies of water, went into effect in August, but only in states where courts hadn’t ruled to block it.

Grassley says changes to it could get rolled into a large spending bill, but he knows that would not sit well with President Obama.

"Surely the president isn't going to shut down government," Grassley says. "Now it could be that the president's going to be so out of touch that he thinks he can veto an omnibus appropriations bill over WOTUS, and then Republicans are going to be blamed for shutting down the government of the United States."

Two years ago, the federal government was shut down for 16 days because Congress didn't pass a spending bill, and polls suggested most Americans blamed Republicans.

But Grassley also said Congress can pass short-term extensions to keep some domestic programs, such as school lunch, operating beyond the September 30 end of the fiscal year. Across the board spending cuts known as sequestration would otherwise kick in.  

"We aren’t going to shut down government, so if we've got to make some accommodation for domestic programs not being sequestered, then we’ll do it," Grassley says.