Iowans protest outside Senator Grassley's office - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowans protest outside Senator Grassley's office, demand fiscal cliff resolution

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

As the deadline for the fiscal cliff looms, some Iowans are pressuring lawmakers to strike a deal.

Protests were held across the state in front of offices for Senator Chuck Grassley. 

Progress Iowa and local activists held "Fiscal Cliff Eve" rallies in four Iowa cities in hopes their message would get sent to Sen. Grassley and Rep. Latham.

The group believes if Grassley fails to act by the time the ball drops in Times Square on New Year's Eve, Iowans will face massive tax increases and benefit cuts that disproportionately burden middle class families.

A handful of people protested outside Grassley's office in Waterloo. They said they have been worried that Grassley and other congressional republicans will drop the ball on the middle class.

"A majority of Americans believe that raising taxes on the wealthiest two-percent of Americans is the fairest way forward," said Matt Sinovic, Executive Director of Progress Iowa. "But even after over 800 Iowans submitted petition signatures and letters in support of tax fairness to Senator Grassley, he still hasn't committed to make sure millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share."

Sunday's events were part of a statewide series of events and other events being organized across the country in partnership with the national coalition The Action.

Additional protests were held in Cedar Rapids, Des Moines and Sioux City.

Senator Grassley issued the following statement:

"I support preventing tax increases on Americans by extending the tax cuts I authored in the Senate in the last decade. Since the election in November, Republican leaders in Congress have offered revenue increases as part of a balanced deal that also takes on Washington's spending problem. The reality is that if the President gets all $800 billion he wants in higher taxes over the next ten years by increasing tax rates on income over $250,000, it would fund the government for just eight days a year. The real problem is spending. In the fiscal cliff debate so far, the President has focused almost solely on raising revenue, yet we need meaningful presidential leadership to tackle spending. During the past four years, the federal government has spent about 24 percent of the gross domestic product, and the result has been four consecutive years of annual deficits above $1 trillion, with the national debt ballooning to $16 trillion. Instead of focusing on raising taxes to Clinton-era levels, it'd be better to focus on getting Washington spending back to the levels in the second half of the Clinton administration. Spending averaged 18.7 percent of gross domestic product during those years, compared to 24 percent of the economy during the Obama administration. Again, the problem is spending."

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