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Balanced Budget Amendment

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NEWS
November 23, 2011
On Friday the balanced budget amendment, known as House Joint Resolution No. 2, failed to achieve the two-thirds majority it needed for passage in the House of Representatives. The amendment called for the president to present a balanced budget to Congress annually for amendment and passage by simple majority votes. Subsequent deficit spending would have been fully permissible with 3/5s majority votes in both houses. The amendment would not have applied in times of war or national emergencies.
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NEWS
November 23, 2011
On Friday the balanced budget amendment, known as House Joint Resolution No. 2, failed to achieve the two-thirds majority it needed for passage in the House of Representatives. The amendment called for the president to present a balanced budget to Congress annually for amendment and passage by simple majority votes. Subsequent deficit spending would have been fully permissible with 3/5s majority votes in both houses. The amendment would not have applied in times of war or national emergencies.
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NEWS
By Karen Hosler and Karen Hosler,Washington Bureau of The Sun | March 3, 1995
WASHINGTON -- Before a packed but hushed chamber, Senate Democrats defeated the balanced budget amendment yesterday, sending the centerpiece of the Republican reform agenda into limbo, possibly until just before next year's elections.The vote ended a bare-knuckle political battle. The Republican effort to make good on a key campaign pledge was tripped up by Democratic leaders, who said the amendment would permit Congress to balance the budget with money intended for Social Security pensions.
NEWS
July 29, 2011
Today, House Speaker John Boehner scrounged around to find the few votes he needed to pass a deficit reduction and debt limit increase plan, a difficult proposition, as his party's conservative wing has grown bold in its revolt against his leadership. He was forced to add a balanced budget amendment and other sweeteners to appease the tea party caucus. But the task didn't really need to be so difficult. In fact, there were 193 votes ripe for the taking. They're called "Democrats. " Mr. Boehner has resisted crafting a plan that will attract any of them out of the realization that it would irreparably fracture his caucus and threaten his leadership.
NEWS
By Tom Bowman and Tom Bowman,Washington Bureau | May 13, 1992
WASHINGTON -- A constitutional amendment that would force the federal government to spend within its means would be impractical and irresponsible or painful and necessary -- depending on which member of Congress you believe.Lawmakers wielded charts and statistics yesterday -- even spoke of their children's economic future -- during competing arguments about the wisdom of a balanced budget amendment.Congress is expected to vote next month on such an amendment, in the face of a $400 billion deficit, with Democratic leaders predicting it will be approved and then sent to the states for ratification.
NEWS
By Karen Hosler and Karen Hosler,Washington Bureau of The Sun | February 15, 1994
WASHINGTON -- This was to be the year that the balanced budget amendment -- under active consideration since the early 1980s -- would finally be approved by Congress.Given plenty of co-sponsors, a growing sense that Washington should balance its books, and a commitment from legislative leaders to let the issue come to the Senate floor next week, prospects for passage appeared good.And at first blush, it might even have seemed that Sen. Robert C. Byrd, arch-foe of the proposed balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, was being unusually sporting about the matter.
NEWS
By Gilbert A. Lewthwaite and Gilbert A. Lewthwaite,Washington Bureau | May 10, 1992
WASHINGTON -- With political survival instincts and economic desperation fueling a bipartisan urge for action, Congress appears poised to pass a constitutional amendment mandating that the nation's budget be balanced yearly.In coming weeks, both the House and Senate will vote on similar resolutions in an effort to get control of runaway spending that this year is expected to drive the federal deficit to $400 billion.Passage this election year is likelier than ever as members of Congress respond to voter anger over the lawmakers' apparent inability to balance the nation's books any better than they handled their own accounts in the now-defunct House Bank.
NEWS
By Karen Hosler and Karen Hosler,Washington Bureau of The Sun | January 18, 1995
WASHINGTON -- The Republican drive to put Congress under the restraints of a balanced-budget amendment has taken on the tone of an addict's plea for help: Stop us before we spend again."
NEWS
By DAN BERGER | January 30, 1995
If this country had a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, it would have lost World War II.Bill Clinton now pitching in the baseball troubles! Watch his curve ball.
NEWS
By Karen Hosler and Karen Hosler,Washington Bureau of The Sun | March 9, 1995
WASHINGTON -- Senate Republicans declined yesterday to punish Sen. Mark O. Hatfield for his renegade vote against the balanced budget amendment, calling it unfair and unwise to make him the scapegoat for the amendment's narrow defeat.But many Republican senators said they considered the Hatfield controversy a second setback for the party because it diverted public attention away from the six Democrats who switched positions to vote against the amendment last week, after having supported a nearly identical proposal last year.
NEWS
By Philip Joyce | July 21, 2011
The U.S. government teeters on the brink of an unprecedented, self-inflicted debt default, and the House of Representatives can't seem to keep its eye on the ball. After the House debated the fate of incandescent lightbulbs last week, it approved on Tuesday a bill called, "The Cut, Cap, and Balance Act of 2011. " Among other things, it would tie an increase in the debt limit to approval, by both houses, of a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget. It is imperative that the federal government reduces unsustainable budget deficits.
NEWS
September 23, 2010
The predictions of big gains for the GOP in November's elections have brought on inevitable comparisons to the Newt Gingrich-led Republican revolution of 1994, and those comparisons got stronger today with the House Republican leadership's release of its "Pledge to America," an obvious echo of the "Contract with America" of 16 years ago. But if the "Pledge" is an echo of its predecessor, it is a weak one. Putting aside the question of whether the...
NEWS
February 3, 1997
ONCE AGAIN the Constitution is under assault by politicians seeking a so-called Balanced Budget Amendment. What is worrisome is that one of these years, maybe even this year, this exercise in dishonesty and irresponsibility will prevail as Washington seeks cover from fiscal problems it would rather ignore. So it is time to get back in the trenches, call up the reserves and do battle against those who would sully the Constitution with an amendment that substitutes economic lunacy for normal legislative procedure.
NEWS
November 18, 1996
THIS TIME it probably will happen. This time, as a result of the Nov. 5 election, the Senate is likely to muster the two-thirds vote that will send a so-called Balanced Budget Amendment to the states, where 38 yeas would signify approval. Thus, a mischievous gimmick seems destined for the U.S. Constitution -- a gimmick that will not balance the budget but merely give politicians an easy vote for pretending this is so. It is a bad idea whose time, unfortunately, may have come.The amendment fails as an exercise in logic, economics and legislative mechanics:It takes Congress off the hook, postponing achievement of a balanced budget until 2002.
NEWS
By JACK W. GERMOND & JULES WITCOVER | November 18, 1996
WASHINGTON -- The Republicans have been saying all along that President Clinton rose from the politically dead last year by seizing all their issues.Thus, it was no great surprise when the president suddenly confided the other day that he could live with a balanced budget amendment so long as there was an escape hatch "that gives the country what it needs to manage a recession."Just a day later, however, the president rowed back to his position against such an amendment.Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin said the administration would "actively oppose" the conservative proposal and quoted Mr. Clinton as telling his economic advisers he was still adamantly opposed.
NEWS
By Jack W. Germond & Jules Witcover | June 10, 1996
WASHINGTON -- If departing Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole wanted to illustrate why it was a good idea politically for him to resign the job and the Senate itself, he picked the right vehicle in presiding over the doomed second Republican attempt to pass a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget.For all the hope expressed by fellow Republicans that Mr. Dole's decision would bring forth a newly invigorated, hard-hitting presidential nominee, he was the picture of uninspiring resignation to defeat as he concluded the debate that preceded the 64-35 vote, two votes short of the two thirds required to send such an amendment to the states.
NEWS
By THEO LIPPMAN JR | May 25, 1992
THIS IS NOT just Memorial Day. It is also the 215th anniversary of the opening of the first Constitutional Convention.First? Yes, now that the Archivist of the U.S. and Congress have validated the proposition that state actions to amend the Constitution are everlasting, the second Constitutional Convention is a certainty.What the archivist said and Congress voted overwhelmingly to endorse was that state ratifications of congressionally proposed amendments to the Constitution never expire.
NEWS
By JACK W. GERMOND & JULES WITCOVER | November 18, 1996
WASHINGTON -- The Republicans have been saying all along that President Clinton rose from the politically dead last year by seizing all their issues.Thus, it was no great surprise when the president suddenly confided the other day that he could live with a balanced budget amendment so long as there was an escape hatch "that gives the country what it needs to manage a recession."Just a day later, however, the president rowed back to his position against such an amendment.Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin said the administration would "actively oppose" the conservative proposal and quoted Mr. Clinton as telling his economic advisers he was still adamantly opposed.
NEWS
November 5, 1995
Generations to come will pay our deficitsFor the first time in several decades, Congress has the opportunity to restore fiscal responsibility by balancing the federal budget. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to stop borrowing from their future to finance our current expenses.Deficits conceal the cost by deferring the payment. One doesn't need to be an economist or business person to understand that future generations will all pay dearly for the current multi-billion deficit levels through inflation and interest rates, an overvalued dollar and trade deficits, fewer investments and a weaker economy, with higher unemployment levels.
NEWS
April 8, 1995
Getting It RightNow that the balanced budget amendment is on the back burner, I appeal to The Sun and the other responsible U.S. papers to launch a campaign to inform readers of the technical differences between an amendment and a law.We need to know that the framers of the Constitution deliberately made it difficult to pass amendments because they are not appropriate in most cases.A law can be changed. It can be rescinded. It can be time-limited. All these things make it possible to refine and improve legislation, whereas it is most difficult to change or rescind an amendment.
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