The top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee on Monday said an across-the-board freeze on federal spending is needed to reel in President Obama´s massive budget plan, signaling a more active Republican stance in fighting the president’s agenda.
Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican, also said the president is pursuing a “socialist” form of government that will stifle the free market.
Mr. Grassley told editors and reporters at The Washington Times that a spending freeze is necessary to get the federal deficit under control and to show voters that the government is capable of living within its means in hard times.
“What you get when you have an across-the-board freeze is everybody is seen as contributing something,” Mr. Grassley said.
“Congressmen don’t get an increase in [pay], government pensions don’t go up, you don’t charge senior citizens more for their Medicare premium than you did the year before,” he said, adding that a three-year freeze would produce a more dramatic effect.
As the ranking Republican on the Finance Committee, Mr. Grassley figures to play a central role in the fate of some of the president’s top priorities, including tax reform, health care and energy. Mr. Grassley’s collegial relations with Chairman Max Baucus, Montana Democrat, only increases his clout.