GOP Wants to Make Unbalanced Budget Illegal

Mandate has full support from Republican senators, none from Dems
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2011 6:57 AM CDT
Budget Deficit Battle: GOP Proposes Balanced-Budget Constitutional Amendment
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., center, speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 29, 2011, following a weekly Republican policy luncheon.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The GOP is hoping to tack a 28th amendment on to the Constitution: one that would mandate a balanced budget. All 47 GOP senators are behind the proposal, which was announced yesterday, but "the whole thing is a long shot," an analyst tells Reuters. Earlier attempts have fallen through, and not one Senate Democrat has backed the idea.

“The framers (of the Constitution) designed the amendment process to be difficult on purpose,” the analyst adds. It requires approval by two-thirds majorities in both the House and Senate, then must be ratified by three-quarters of the states. The proposed amendment would take effect five years after ratification, and would have a few exceptions—for instance, it would be flexible during wartime. It would also require a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate to enact a tax hike. (More Senate Republicans stories.)

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