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National Debt

Interesting Proposal in the Senate

  • March 29, 2011

    At least 33 Senate Republicans are signing onto a proposal that would tie a Balanced Budget Amendment  to the Constitution in exchange for raising the statuary debt ceiling above the current $14.2 trillion. The amendment would force the federal government to balance the budget's spending to incoming revenue each year and cap spending at 18% of the gross domestic product (GDP).  Given our current spending deficit is set to reach $1.4 trillion this year - the highest ever, this idea is a good one.
    In order to amend the Constitution, a proposal must get a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate and be ratified by three-quarters of the states. The last time that the Senate voted on a Balanced Budget Amendment was in 1997.  The amendment, sponsored by Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah) failed by only one vote.  Former senator and now Vice President Joe Biden voted in favor of the amendment.  Of the 11 Democrats who voted for the Hatch BBA in 1997, four are still in the Senate: Max Baucus (Mont.), Tom Harkin (Iowa), Herb Kohl (Wisc.), and Mary Landrieu (La.).
    With our budget and federal spending bursting at the seams - it's time for Congress to take some serious action. This proposal sets the tone for the real "adult conversation" Speaker John Boehner said we must have about raising the debt ceiling. While CapitolWatch is opposed to raising the ceiling, this compromise is agreeable. It makes a lasting a fundamental change that our country needs. It will send a signal to nations around the world that we take our obligations seriously and that we aim to remain a world leader.

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