Friday the Republican-controlled House of Representatives rejected a balanced budget amendment. House Republicans saw dissension among their own ranks in a measure integral to their economic platform.
Dissension among the ranks
The measure was opposed by 165 of the 261 votes cast. A two-thirds majority is required for a House measure to pass. Although most Republicans voted for the measure, those who opposed it tipped the scale. The most notable dissension came from House Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier, R-Calif., who pointed out that Congress hadn’t needed a Constitutional act to balance the nation’s books during the Clinton administration.
Debt ceiling bargain
The agreement to raise the nation’s debt ceiling over the summer was contingent on allowing the vote for the balanced budget amendment. The same deal created the super committee that continues to remain deadlocked.
The measure was sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia.
Last month, Goodlatte said:
“The American people are demanding action. They know that it is crucial we rein in the skyrocketing deficit spending that is discouraging investment and threatening to bankrupt our nation.”
Democrats fear drastic social cuts
Democrats opposed the measure because they fear that it would lead to debilitating cuts in the nation’s social programs. The proposed measure would have required greater than 17 percent spending cuts within the next seven years. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has said cuts that deep would have required slashing Medicare by $750 billion and Social Security by $1.2 trillion.
Democrats also argued that passing the measure would have put the spending decisions in the hands of the courts and constitutional lawyers.
Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, opposing the measure, said the measure was a smokescreen to avoid passing measures that would actually help the nation’s economic recovery.
“Don’t talk about it. Just do it. Don’t cut taxes and increase spending. Don’t just preach fiscal responsibility. Practice it. It will take no courage to vote for this amendment, but it will take courage to balance our budget by paying for what we buy.”
Senate yet to vote
The House has defeated the measure for 2011. But the same deal that made the vote mandatory also calls for a similar vote by the Senate next year.
Think Progress: http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/11/18/372481/gops-job-killing-balanced-budget-amendment-fails-in-house/
Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/18/balanced-budget-amendment-house-vote_n_1101840.html
Do you have a fantastic idea related to this article, but just don't have the money you need to start your own company or side-business? Get the loans you need from https://personalmoneynetwork.com to help get your new company underway, from the small loan professionals at PersonalMoneyNetwork.