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Grassley Calls on Leaders to Involve All Members of Congress to Seek Fiscal Solutions

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JOHNSTON, Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley is calling for an all-hands-on-deck approach to solving the ongoing congressional fiscal cliffhanger in Washington.

Faced with March deadlines for resolving budget sequestration and debt ceiling issues, Grassley said Jan. 11 that Congress ought to be in session rather than on a two-week recess.

Appearing on Iowa Public Television's Iowa Press, the Iowa Republican expressed skepticism those issues can be resolved without the participation of the full Congress.

Congress should be in session "and have 535 people instead of two people" working to resolve the fiscal issues. He was referring to the serial negotiations between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, Boehner and Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell leading up to last-minute agreements to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.

"Eventually McConnell calls up (Vice President) Biden and they got something done," Grassley said.

However, if leaders take the attitude "that two people in this town are smart enough to solve this problem and shove it down everybody else's throat" there will be more last-minute agreements.

Avert sequestration and raising the debt ceiling the limit on the federal government's authorized borrowing limit -- are issues too big to leave to a handful of members of Congress, Grassley said.

"It ought to be open to debate and amendment and all that sort of thing," he said, "and we ought to start it right now."

By involving more members of Congress, "then you get something to the floor that can pass," he added.

Iowa Press can be seen on IPTV at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 11 and noon Jan. 13, 8:30 a.m. on IPTV World and online at

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