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Senate GOP Introduces Balanced Budget Amendment; McConnell: “Since When Is It Extreme To Want To Balance The Books?”

April 1st, 2011 by mopns · No Comments

 

Human Events reported yesterday, “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R.-Ky.) announced Thursday afternoon that all 47 Republican Senators have co-sponsored a ‘consensus Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,’ HUMAN EVENTS learned exclusively. This year’s budget deficit is projected to be $1.6 trillion, and the national debt is currently $14.1 trillion. The key provisions of the new balanced budget amendment (BBA) are: Congress must pass a balanced budget; the President has to submit a balanced budget; spending is capped at 18% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP); ‘supermajority’ vote (two-thirds of House and Senate) to raise taxes; and ‘new supermajority’ vote (three-fifths of House and Senate) to raise the debt ceiling.” The amendment also includes provisions allowing for potential necessary spending during declared wars or military conflicts on a vote of Congress. In addition, the amendment prohibits federal or state courts from ordering tax increases to comply with the provisions of the amendment.

The full text of Senate Republicans’ proposed amendment can be found here, and is also available on Scribd.

Reuters writes, “[B]ackers are hopeful this [amendment] may succeed amid an unprecedented push to trim the federal deficit, projected to hit $1.4 trillion this year. ‘It’s long past the time that we stop spending money we don’t have,’ said Senator Lamar Alexander, a member of Republican leadership. ‘Requiring that we balance our national budget is a logical step in that direction.’”

Speaking on about the amendment on the floor yesterday, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, “American families have to balance their budgets. So should their elected representatives in Washington. It’s not too much to expect that lawmakers spend no more than they take in. I mean, since when is it extreme to want to balance the books?

“And that brings us to the heart of the matter. The last time the Senate voted on a balanced budget amendment, in 1997, the federal deficit was a little over $100 billion. Today, it’s about $1.6 trillion. Back then, the national debt was about $5 and a half trillion. Today, it’s closer to $14 trillion. Back then, the amendment failed by just one vote. Today, Democrats are already lining up against it.”

Eleven Democrats voted for a balanced budget amendment in 1997. Given how much more serious our debt crisis is today, will Democrats vote to put our country’s fiscal house in order and require Congress to do what every family and business in America must do?

Related:

Rasmussen Report:

57% Okay With Government Shutdown If It Leads to Deeper Budget Cuts

58% Now Favor Health Care Repeal

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