BUDGET PASSES: Grassley Against Bipartisan Bill

Sen. Charles Grassley

The US Senate spent Wednesday afternoon voting on a budget bill in the hope of getting it completed before the holidays.

The House already approved the bipartisan bill last week negotiated by Republican Congressman Paul Ryan and Democratic Senator Patty Murray. With Senate approval of 64-36 votes, it now heads to the president’s desk.

The bill is a two-year spending plan eliminating the threat of a government shutdown.

The budget includes more money for the Pentagon and other areas that saw deep cuts this year. It also includes higher fees for corporations and on airline tickets.

The increased fees on airline tickets is one reason Senator Grassley voted against the bill.

“If we are going to enhance airport security, and it needs to be enhanced, that’s a good reason to raise revenue but not to spend that money someplace else in the budget,” Sen. Grassley said.

The budget does not include an extension on unemployment benefits or increased pension contributions for federal workers.

A tax credit for companies that hire veterans will also expire.

“We tried hard to get in into the year-end budget deal. We weren’t able to but we’re going to work very hard with my colleagues in the House and Senate to make sure when we come back in January this is our first priority that we re-authorize this tax credit for unemployed veterans and the employers like Hy-Vee that hire them,” Rep. Braley said.

Congressman Bruce Braley visited Hy-Vee stores in Cedar Falls, Marshalltown and West Des Moines to talk about the tax credit.

The current tax credit expires December 31st. It provides a company up to $9,600 for hiring a veteran.

Braley has been working to make the tax credit permanent. But now it looks like that battle will have to be fought in 2014.