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Grassley: Recession not time to raise taxes

July 7, 2011
By ANDREW POTTER - Staff Writer ( , Times-Republican

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said raising taxes should not be an option in raising the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling.

Grassley hopes cuts in congressional spending will work better than an increase in taxes.

"There's a rule that even (President Barack) Obama abided by in 2009 that you don't increase taxes during a recession," Grassley said Wednesday.

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There is a current Aug. 2 deadline for raising the debt ceiling. If raising the debt ceiling is not accomplished by Aug. 2, the United States won't be allowed to borrow money to pay its bills. Grassley thinks it will get done before the deadline but compared the dealings to "a game of chicken."

"I guess I have a feeling that government's been in crisis in the past and that deadlines bring action," Grassley said.

Grassley seemed receptive to the idea of possibly raising the debt ceiling for a few months then lowering it again if that's what was needed.

"I think I can buy into it," he said.

The senator has been heavily involved in an investigation in the Operation Fast and Furious scandal, which saw 2,000 guns sold to straw buyers who turned around and sold them to Mexican drug cartel leaders.

"We are going to keep on this until we get to the bottom of it," Grassley said. "This is a very serious issue."

Grassley is also working on updating international trade agreements with Korea, Panama and Columbia. He said some of the trade agreements have been left on the table, and said Obama has not been proactive in helping increase exports in this manner. He said these agreements will help the American economy and is upset they haven't gone through.

"Trade issues seem to be sidelined even more," Grassley said.



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