The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

U.S. Sen. Grassley calls government shutdown over border policies ‘idiotic’

Grassley called out efforts to shut down the government over border policies, citing the necessity of federal services for many Iowans.
Emily Nyberg
The U.S. Capitol is seen on Tuesday, March 28, 2023.

Iowa’s congressional delegation is considering the cost of federal programs that Iowans rely on as the deadline for a federal government shutdown approaches.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, called the tactics of several Republican members of the House “idiotic” during a call with reporters on Wednesday.

“It costs money to shut down [the] government,” Grassley said on Wednesday. “It costs money to open up government — government is supposed to be of service to the American people. That’s what they pay taxes for and if it isn’t functioning it can’t be of service.”

Grassley, along with several Republican and Democratic Senators, voted for a continuing resolution for a stop-gap funding bill that would keep the federal government open until mid-November until the next budget year’s appropriations bills can make their way through the U.S. House of Representatives which is expected to take weeks.

Congress has until just after midnight on Oct. 1 — when government funding expires — to agree on federal spending. If legislators can’t pass all funding bills, the government will shut down.

Congress is given the power to make decisions on government funding but must pass all bills by the start of the new fiscal year on Oct. 1.

What Iowans could face in the case of a government shutdown:

  • Nonessential workers would stop working, without pay.
  • Essential workers will be forced to work without pay.
  • Federal housing loans and small-business loans could be paused.
  • WIC, a food assistance program for women and children could be paused or fund could be gone within days or weeks.
  • Head Start Grants will not be able to be awarded to anyone.

The looming shutdown stems from House Conservatives looking to make cuts in federal spending, an act that hasn’t passed in the Senate as it is Democrat-controlled.

On Sept. 26, the Senate announced a spending plan that will give the House until Nov. 17 to pass the bills, but House Republicans must accept the plan.

U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa sits on the House Appropriations Committee, the committee that drafts and approves first versions. She said she supports efforts to secure the U.S. Border and supports cuts to wasteful spending.

“Throughout the government funding process my goal has been to pass the most fiscally conservative legislation possible while investing in Iowa’s priorities,” Hinson said on Friday. “Last night, I supported three single-subject bills that responsibly funded our military, support our national security, and secure our border.”

However, Hinson said she does not support doing so at the cost of important federal programs that Iowans rely on, such as federal farm subsidies.

“I do not want to see the government shut down, and I do not want to see the Biden-Pelosi agenda in law any longer,” Hinson said in a Sept. 22 news release. “I’m going to continue fighting for exactly what my constituents have asked me to fight for: the most conservative spending bills we can possibly get passed.”

Iowa Democrats criticized Iowa’s federal delegation for not doing enough to avert the impending shutdown during a press conference on Tuesday.

“Republicans are busy playing political games and trying to ram through massive cuts that have no shot of making it through the Senate,” Iowa Democratic Party Chair Rita Hart told reporters during a conference call Tuesday. “Iowans are sick and tired of this kind of politics. It’s past time for House Republicans to stop their posturing and to start focusing on keeping our government open.”

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About the Contributors
Natalie Miller
Natalie Miller, Politics Reporter
Natalie Miller is a second-year student at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism and Mass Communications. Prior to her position as a Politics Reporter, Natalie was a News Reporter focusing on Higher Education.
Emily Nyberg
Emily Nyberg, Visual Editor
Emily Nyberg is a second-year student at the University of Iowa double majoring in Journalism and Cinematic arts. Prior to her role as a Visual Editor, Emily was a Photojournalist, and a News Reporter covering higher education.