GOP lawmakers tout Constitutional amendment to require balanced budget

Perhaps as an antidote to his decision not to sign the "Cut, Cap, and Balance" pledge circulating among Republicans in both chambers, House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., teamed with the congressman leading the charge in a USA Today op-ed to advocate support of the balanced budget amendment, which the House will vote on Wednesday.

Conceding the historical unlikelihood of successfully amending the 223-year-old Constitution (there have only been 27 amendments), Cantor and Republican Study Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, argue that because amendments require passage of two-thirds of the House and Senate and three-fourths of the states, "successful amendments tend to stay in place. Only one, Prohibition, has ever been repealed.

"The moral of this story is clear," they write. "Anyone who hopes to rein in the debt and make Washington live within its means should support amending the Constitution to require a balanced budget."

Though Jordan has emerged at the front line of the "Cut, Cap, and Balance" pledge -- which holds signers to opposing any debt-ceiling increase unless it is accompanied by "substantial" spending cuts, federal spending caps, and a balanced budget amendment -- Cantor and House Speaker Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, have refused to sign for fear of being bound by either side's conditions.

But both Cantor and Boehner have publicly promoted passage of a balanced budget amendment, and though it's still likely to fall short of the necessary votes, Democrats -- in a scurry to shore up the massive disparity between their budget preferences and Republicans' before the August 2 deadline hits -- see political incentive to OK it: If it passes, the GOP will be much more inclined to strike a deal that includes a debt-ceiling boost.

In an appearance Wednesday on CBS's Early Show, Rep. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., tea party favorite and one of 12 senators to have signed the "Cut, Cap, and Balance" pledge, confirmed that Republicans hope to use the amendment as leverage over their budget stalemate with Democrats.

"This idea that Republicans will not vote to increase the debt limit is wrong," DeMint said. "We're going to introduce a plan that would give the president an increase in the debt limit, but it's contingent on cutting and capping spending over several years and giving the states the opportunity to decide if we're going to balance our budget sometime in the next decade. It's a very reasonable proposal, and I think you'll see that coming out of the House over the next few days."

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.