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Tags: grassley | gsa | government | waste

Grassley: GSA Lavishness Part of 'Culture'

By    |   Thursday, 02 August 2012 04:16 PM EDT

Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley tells Newsmax.TV that the deal Democrats and Republicans reached on Tuesday to finance the federal government for the next six months – and avoid any shutdowns – points to a “greater good” for the GOP heading into the November elections.

“It would be a bad thing for Republicans to be seen as shutting down government, if it would hurt the chances of getting a Republican majority in the Senate and a Republican president,” the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, tells Newsmax. “The greater good calls for a Republican president and a Republican Senate.”

The deal, announced by House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would fund such discretionary federal programs as defense, foreign aid, education and medical research at an annual rate of $1.047 trillion, the level specified in last year's debt-limit deal.

Editor's Note: You Owe It to Yourself to Know What Obama and Bernanke Are Hiding From Americans

“I’m not happy with the amount of money it spends,” Grassley said.
The full House and Senate must still approve the measure by Sept. 30, the end of the current fiscal year, when money runs out. Congress begins recess later this month through the first week of September.

And eliminating any possibility of a government shutdown, if the measure is passed by Congress, and not upset voters before Nov. 6, sits even better with Grassley.

"I’m kind of surprised that Reid and the president would agree to do this,” he said, referring to President Barack Obama. “I thought the president’s program for re-election was to do nothing until about three days before Oct. 1 and then say that the Republicans were shutting down government – and he would benefit politically from it.”

In addition, Grassley, who also sits on the Finance, Agriculture and Budget committees, said he was not surprised at new revelations about wasteful spending at the U.S. General Services Administration.

Story continues below the video.

Reports surfaced at a Capitol Hill hearing on Wednesday that GSA employees, who make up only 1 percent of the federal workforce, are reaping 10 percent of the federal government’s bonus checks – accounting for $44 million last year alone.

This activity, Grassley said, points to a larger “culture” of wasteful activity in many federal agencies.

“You’re going to have to change leadership at the top, but it isn’t just a case of changing leadership,” he said. “This is an example that you see in so many departments.

“You call it the culture of the department. Something that’s built in, that’s been done for years.

“You think you can continue to do it, you have a right to do it – and sometimes managers at the top can make a big difference,” Grassley said. “But until you change the culture, you aren’t really going to bring about the big changes you ought to.”

Editor's Note: You Owe It to Yourself to Know What Obama and Bernanke Are Hiding From Americans

Grassley said the GSA, which is charged with managing and supporting the basic functioning of federal agencies, should expect a major overhaul should presumptive GOP candidate Mitt Romney takes the White House in November.

“I think that this is good that it’s happening right now before the election – because if Romney gets elected, it’s a real opportunity to clean up the mess.”

See the full Newsmax interview — Grassley to Newsmax: Likely Holder Knew About 'Fast and Furious'

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Thursday, 02 August 2012 04:16 PM
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