WASHINGTON — Another potential federal government shutdown looms in ten days, and Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley predicts there will -not- be an agreement reached by November 17th, so another stopgap measure will be required to again extend the deadline.
Grassley, a Republican, says progress is being made in both chambers. “I think the House of Representatives will pass most of their 12 appropriation bills,” Grassley says. “Obviously, the Senate has passed four, I think, so far, although we passed them as one bill with four grouped together.”
Mike Johnson was elected as the new House Speaker on October 25th, less than a month after the Senate passed the House stopgap bill to avoid a government shutdown, pushing the deadline to November 17th. Grassley is certain the budget work won’t be finished by then.
“We’re not going to get this process done by November 17th, so we’ll have a continuing resolution,” Grassley says. “About the only debate is, will the continuing resolution take us through let’s say mid-December, or will it be extended until mid-January? That’s about the only difference.”
During a Radio Iowa interview in late September, Grassley said it was “idiocy” to be going through this process again, with threatened shutdowns, but an accord on spending remains elusive in November.
“For the first time since at least 2018, and we didn’t do a very good job in 2018, but at least we passed some individual appropriation bills, besides one that grouped a lot of them together at the end of the year,” Grassley says. “Since then, we’ve had an omnibus appropriation bill, just hardly before Christmas Eve, to keep government funded.”
A 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 would happen.