"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Senate Republicans Push Balanced Budget Amendment, While Obama Simply Calls For Tax Hikes

June 30th, 2011 by mopns · No Comments

Politico reported yesterday, “As President Barack Obama told reporters that Republicans ‘don’t want a balanced approach’ in debt talks, Senate Republicans on Wednesday stepped up pressure on Democrats to help pass a constitutional amendment requiring the government to balance its budget each year. ‘We expect that [Obama] will be pushing for tax increases as a condition to get some kind of deficit-reduction package,’ Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said at a Capitol Hill news conference that coincided with one Obama held with reporters at the White House. ‘Our view is: A good first step is a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution.’ About a dozen GOP senators lined up before the cameras to speak on the need for such an amendment. . . . All 47 Senate Republicans have co-sponsored a balanced-budget proposal authored by Utah Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee. . . . [McConnell] successfully requested Wednesday that the balanced-budget proposal be placed on the Senate calendar so it can bypass the committee process and be brought directly to the floor at a later date. He said last weekend he wants the Senate to vote on the proposal the week of July 18.”

The Republican call for a balanced budget amendment was in marked contrast to Obama’s press conference at the same time, where the president was calling for tax increases. As National Review Online’s Andrew Stiles put it, “While President Obama was accusing them of wanting to raid scholarship accounts for needy children in order to incinerate the money in the engine of some rich guy’s private jet (or something), Senate Republicans launched an effort to pass a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution, urging Congress to impose on itself the same budgetary rules by which 49 out of 50 (all but Vermont) states must abide.”

As Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl said yesterday, “Getting the nation out of debt is a long-term proposition, one that requires a firm and steady commitment to responsible spending policies.  The Balanced Budget Amendment would require Congress to balance the budget the right way:  by cutting spending and implementing policies that promote economic growth and job creation.” A constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget is the right approach to tackling Washington’s spending and debt problems, not simply raising taxes in a struggling economy.

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