GOP's New Crusade: Balanced Budget Amendment

Some Democrats amenable to the plan, say insiders
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Aug 5, 2011 7:56 AM CDT
John Boehner speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Aug. 1, 2011.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – Emboldened after the debt limit fight, Republicans are shifting energies to their quest for a balanced budget amendment—but such a measure faces major hurdles, the New York Times reports. John Boehner has called on congressional Republicans to spend their August recess convincing the public of the importance of such an amendment, which would bar the government from spending more than it takes in. Passage would require a two-thirds majority in each chamber; if that happened, the proposal would skip Obama's desk and move to state legislatures. The GOP dominates 26 of them; 75% would need to OK it.

What are the stumbling blocks? "Bruised and cranky" Dems, says the Times, along with the fact that many of the 10-or-so bills filed by the GOP to create the amendment contain provisions highly objectionable to Democrats. But some Democrats, including several senators, may be willing to support a bill in an effort to come across as more fiscally responsible ahead of the 2012 election. “I think it is definitely achievable,” says a GOP rep. “I have been talking to dozens of Democrats in the House about this, and there is a tremendous amount of interest.”

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