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Members of Iowa Delegation Welcome Short-Term Budget Agreement
By James Q. Lynch, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Members of Iowa's congressional delegation welcomed a vote to re-open the federal government even thought it means they'll be back at the bulwarks again in January.
The "grand compromise that isn't so grand," Republicans Sen. Chuck Grassley said in describing a short-term funding agreement reached by Senate negotiators to keep the government open until Jan. 15 and raise the debt ceiling until Feb. 7.
Despite its short-term nature, Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin called the agreement "welcome relief for Iowans and all Americans who cannot afford to bear the brunt of another economic crisis manufactured by an extreme faction in Congress."
And 1st District Rep. Bruce Braley, who hopes to succeed Harkin in the Senate, said Americans deserve to have the federal government re-opened and its bills paid.
"I'm optimistic that proposal announced this morning is going to provide the vehicle to finally bring people together" by sending the budget issues to a House-Senate conference committee. The agreement, he said, should "provide certainty and stability."
At least until January when Congress will face another budget showdown. Grassley and Harkin were optimistic all parties learned lessons from the current shutdown.
"I hope the Republicans in the House will have learned from this that by what they were doing before ... wasn't gaining them anything," Harkin said. He hopes they'll ignore the Tea Party "bomb throwers" and recognize a better option is to negotiate.
"Both sides have an agenda," Grassley said. Democrats want to abandon the spending level agreed to in sequestration. Republicans want to continue to fight ObamaCare.
Democrats might feel they have the upper hand "because Republicans have not come out looking as good as Democrats in this shutdown," Grassley said. "They may think they have Republicans over a barrel," but, in the end, it just puts off the next round in the fight until January."