Balanced budget gets leadership stamp

July 12th, 2011 at 1:12 pm | 7 Comments |

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Politico reports

Support for the conservative-backed balanced budget amendment continued to gain steam Tuesday as Republican leaders argued it should be a part of the “long-term solution” to reducing the federal debt.

The freshmen have been pushing for a balanced budget amendment as a condition of their support for a debt ceiling increase. Though the dialogue among leaders has been more focused on the size of a deficit reduction package, the message from leaders today suggests they’ve heard the new class.

The balanced budget amendment will be brought to the floor for a vote next week.

“There’s a greater and greater emphasis on the balanced budget amendment to the constitution being tied to any greater debt ceiling increase,” said Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) “That is coming from the ground up.”

Republican leaders held a conference meeting with the GOP Tuesday morning to discuss the details of potential spending cuts leaders are discussing, slam the White House for what they claimed was an insistence on tax increases and reaffirm their opposition to any plan that includes new revenues.

After the meeting, Speaker John Boehner laid out three conditions the Republicans were hoping to get out of the negotiations “The spending cuts have to be larger than the increase in the debt ceiling,” he said. “Secondly there are no tax increases on the table. And thirdly, we have to have real controls in place to make sure this never happens again. Real controls like a balanced budget amendment.”

“I think everybody in that room will vote for it,” said Steve Stivers (R-Ohio.) “It’s important. We need structural change,” he said, predicting that structural change “has to be part of the final deal.”

But a balanced budget amendment will be a tough sell. It requires a two-thirds majority to pass the House, and unlike the version passed in 1995, it will require a two-thirds majority to increase tax revenues, a provision Democrats are strongly opposed to.

The freshmen also displayed a deep distrust of the president, who urged leaders of their party “eat their peas” and make politically risky sacrifices to find an agreement on the debt.

“Nobody in that room believes it. We don’t believe him,” said Joe Walsh (R-Ill), arguing that the president is a late-comer to the deficit reduction debate. “This guy comes in at the last minute and says eat your peas? He’s embarrassing. He’s clueless, just clueless.”

Rep. Allen West said he wanted to be sure the spending cuts leaders were negotiating weren’t “fairy dust spending cuts” that amounted to smaller reductions than initially advertised, which kept some leaders from voting for the continuing resolution earlier this year.

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7 Comments so far ↓

  • TAZ

    I would love to see a balanced budget amendment too, but not as a “must have” in the debt negotiations.

    Anyway……

    Given the impossibility of the Republican demands, and the real chance they may not raise the debt ceiling, why are we not hearing more grumbling from the business world?

    Am I missing something or will business not bear a large chunk of such a catastrophe?

  • mikewaz

    Yes, let’s amend the Constitution to force the federal government to spend less money as a percentage of GDP than the federal government has spent in any year since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid. That couldn’t possibly have any disastrous consequences whatsoever!

  • dante

    Will this amendment actually have teeth behind it, or will the GOP still be able to discard it as they did PAY-GO when they wanted to ram through the Bush tax cuts?

  • LFC

    The freshmen have been pushing for a balanced budget amendment as a condition of their support for a debt ceiling increase.

    OMG! These people are effin’ MORONS! Do these idiots even know how bills get passed vs. how Constitutional amendments get passed? Do they even grasp that they don’t vote on and pass Constitutional amendments? That it requires approval by 2/3 of the states?

    To all GOP freshmen, here’s a refresher. Get mommy to read it to you and draw diagrams if it’s too challenging for you.
    http://www.usconstitution.net/constam.html

  • diverik

    The article quotes Speaker Boehner as listing 3 conditions the Republicans are looking for in order to raise the debt ceiling. From my interpretation, there really seems to be only 2 conditions:

    1.) Republicans get everything they want.

    2.) Democrats get nothing they want.

  • cporet

    The good thing about a balanced budget amendment is that we will have to pay for wars with increases in taxes. No more putting on the credit card. Otherwise, lunacy. See Minnesota.

  • TJ Parker

    Balanced budget amendment is stupid.