House of Representatives
The U.S. House of Representatives defeated a measure Friday. Image: DonkeyHotey/Flickr/CC BY

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.

Hoyer said:

“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:
Huffington Post:


Post By bryanh (1,420 Posts)


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 to help get your new company underway, from the small loan professionals at PersonalMoneyNetwork.

PG&E to pay $70 million for pipeline tragedy

PG&E to pay $70 million for pipeline tragedy

Pacific Gas and Electric Co., a northern California utility, has agreed to pay $70 million to the California town of San Bruno for a pipeline explosion that killed eight people in 2010. Company says it’s remorseful The San Francisco-based power company’s president, Chris Johns, released a statement Monday, saying PG&E is sorry and eager to […]

Judge stabbed and deputy shot in Washington courthouse

Grays Harbor County Courthouse

Following a standoff in a Washington state county courtroom Friday, a man reportedly escaped after shooting a sheriff’s deputy in the shoulder and stabbing a judge in the neck. The man is still at large. Treachery among the tree farms The incident occurred Friday afternoon in the western Washington town of Montesano, which bills itself […]

Microraptor was one flashy little dinosaur

Microraptor fossil

A team of Chinese and American scientists have found that Microraptor, a small four winged dinosaur that went extinct about 130 million years ago, was likely black and almost certainly had glossy, iridescent feathers. Until now, the coloring of extinct creatures was a matter of pure speculation. That may no longer be the case. The […]

Autocorrected message leads to school lockdown

Homage to the Sun

Adjacent schools in Georgia were locked down for two hours Wednesday after a text message reportedly warned of a “gunman” on campus. Later, it was learned that the message was the result of a smartphone autocorrect function, attempting to “fix” the misspelled slang word “gunna.” A series of mixups A series of mixups led to […]