GOP to push for vote on balanced-budget amendment in debt-ceiling bill; Update: $1.1T in cuts for $1T debt-ceiling increase?
posted at 12:00 pm on July 25, 2011 by Ed Morrissey
House Republicans have not abandoned their efforts to get an up-or-down vote on their proposed balanced-budget amendment. According to a new report from Politico, any bill cutting a debt-ceiling deal will have a requirement for a future vote in both chambers for the BBA within the next few months:
House Republican leaders are planning to write into the bill that will raise the debt ceiling a provision that would require consideration of a balanced budget amendment in the next few months, according to several GOP sources.
The legislation, which is being written by staff this morning, is likely to include a date certain for a vote on a balanced budget amendment.
“This allows supporters of a balanced budget amendment – including Republican leaders – time to build pressure on Democrats to support this popular and important reform,” a GOP leadership aide told POLITICO Monday. “Remember, the key is the Democrats, because we can’t get to two-thirds with just GOP votes.”
Conservatives, led by Republican Study Committee Chair Jim Jordan of Ohio and Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), have been pushing hard for a balanced budget amendment for the last several months. The legislation they unveiled included a super majority for tax increases, rendering it dead on arrival in the House because Democratic support was nil. House Republican insiders say that they are hopeful the tax provision will be dropped in order to have it pass the lower chamber, the Senate and send it to the states.
According to CNN’s poll, a balanced-budget amendment has strong appeal to Americans across all political lines. To recap my analysis from last week’s survey of adults, almost 3 out of every 4 Americans would support the BBA (74/24), even ea Party opponents (56%) and self-professed liberals (61/37). Those are the least-supportive demographics in the survey; in every other category, support for the BBA is at 70% or better.
You know who else would support a balanced-budget amendment? Twenty Democrats in the Senate. The Club for Growth and the Washington Examiner published this video last week after Harry Reid tabled the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act and Steny Hoyer lamented the BBA’s restriction on tax hikes:
Inanticipation of this weekend’s vote, The Club for Growth has posted a video showing 20 current Democratic Senators saying they support a balanced budget amendment. All 47 Republican Senators have said they will vote for a balanced budget amendment. 47 + 20 = 67. 67 is more than enough Senators needed to pass a constitutional amendment.
Why not allow a vote on the BBA, especially after the debt-ceiling hike takes place? Democrats don’t want to go on record as opposing it, fearing what that vote will mean in the next election. Unfortunately for them, it won’t mean anything significantly different than refusing to cut spending and pushing tax hikes as a temporary solution to the chronic problem of overspending.
Republicans need to keep the pressure on the Senate for a floor vote on the BBA.
- 1.1 Trillion in cuts – recommendations made by 6 members of each chamber, occurrence of cuts to be determined – cuts will be non-defense, real and not accounting gimmicks
- 1 Trillion in debt limit increase
- Will last until next April.
- There must be a vote on Balanced Budget Amendment
The White House insists that it won’t sign a deal that doesn’t go through 2012, but that depends on whether Reid tries hard to stop one. If the House passes this bill, it will be the third proposal in writing from Republicans against zero from Senate Democrats and the White House.
Update II: Second round should have been on the BBA, not the CCB. Right Scoop has fixed it as I have.