Amid the uncertainty and bickering over how to raise the debt limit, congressional Republicans are pushing ahead with balanced-budget proposals that could further complicate â€” or serve as a key bargaining chip to â€” a final deal.
House GOP leaders have scheduled a vote next week on a bill that calls for a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution. Senate Republicans, who last month proposed a similar measure, also hope for a floor vote on their version next week.
While Republicans overwhelming back the measures â€” which would require the support of two-thirds of each chamber of Congress â€” the proposals face stiff Democratic opposition.
But Republican leaders have suggested a balanced-budget amendment could be part of a compromise with Democrats and President Obama to raise the nationâ€™s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling, saying it would be counterproductive to do so without also taking steps to rein in spending.
â€œThe balanced-budget amendment does just that,â€ said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican. â€œIt accomplishes what we want, which is to change the system and finally begins to get the fiscal house in order.â€
Republicans say a balanced-budget amendment is a necessary component of an overall strategy to curb government spending and reduce the nationâ€™s ballooning debt and deficit.
â€œThe amendment that we vote on next week, frankly, itâ€™s just common sense,â€ said House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican. â€œIt says the government can only spend what it takes in, and places real limits on the ability of politicians to increase taxes or to increase spending.â€
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, called the proposal â€œthe single most effective wayâ€ to â€œget our house fiscal in order.â€
To read more, visit: Â http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jul/15/gop-pushes-for-balanced-budget-amendment/
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