August 04,2010

Grassley Votes for Fiscal Responsibility

WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley issued the following statement about his vote today on the $26.1 billion state aid bill.

“The legislation was fiscally irresponsible because it wasn’t paid for in the first five years.  It increases the deficit by $22 billion in the first year.  It included a permanent tax increase for one year of new spending, which further increases the size of government.  It’s very difficult to justify spending this kind of money, considering the incredibly irresponsible management of state funds by big states like California, New York, Illinois and Pennsylvania.  Those four states had the largest budget amount reserved for the increase in FMAP funds.  They’re counting on this extra check from the federal taxpayers, and the Democratic majority is trying to deliver it at everyone else’s expense.  And major employers have been clear that the tax increases used to offset this spending will jeopardize jobs in the United States.  Four major Iowa employers -- Caterpillar, John Deere, Rockwell Collins, and IBM – were opposed to this bill. Rockwell Collins has 10,111 employees in Iowa. IBM has 1,300 employees in Iowa.  There likely are even more Iowa employers in opposition.  The National Association of Manufacturers says an estimated 22 million people in the United States – 53 percent of all manufacturing employees – are employed by companies with operations overseas and would have to pay the $9.6 billion of tax increases in this legislation.  The manufacturers say the increases ‘will jeopardize the jobs of American manufacturing employees and stifle our fragile economy.’ I'm not increasing taxes on Iowa employers and putting jobs at risk to pay for big states like California, New York, Illinois and Pennsylvania to prop up their oversized Medicaid programs.

“What’s more, this is a tax increase going through Congress without even a single hearing and almost no debate.  Any consideration of tax increases like this should have a real discussion in the committees of jurisdiction, including the Finance Committee. 

“To offset this new spending, Democratic leaders could have started with unspent stimulus funds.  About $35 billion of the $100 billion in education aid to states from the stimulus was not spent as of a July 9 report from the Department of Education.  Also, let’s be clear that today’s legislation is nothing more than a bailout to state governments so they don’t have to make tough decisions.  Federal dollars don’t grow on trees.  Like the state legislatures, Congress is facing difficult decisions regarding existing federal spending programs to address a large budget deficit and growing debt, much less taking on new federal spending to offset cuts in state spending made by state legislatures and governors.”