Tea Party to push balanced budget amendment

The Daily Caller reports that a new coalition is forming with the goal of pushing a balanced budget amendment through Congress, something that is desparately needed:

A new Tea Party coalition is in the works, The Daily Caller has learned, to begin an organized push for an amendment to the constitution requiring that the federal budget be balanced every year.

One activist describes the effort as the logical next step for the movement that burst onto the scene early last year in response to government bailouts and stimulus packages.

The coalition, named BBA Now, as in Balance Budget Amendment Now, plans to officially unveil its three-year plan in September, director of coalitions Kellen Giuda said in an interview. Part of the campaign includes petitioning 2010 congressional candidates, as well as presidential candidates in 2012, to sign a pledge in support of the effort.

A balanced budget amendment restricts the government from spending more than its projected revenue every year, except for in times of war or a national emergency.
[T]he amendment also includes capping federal spending at no more than 20 percent of GDP, the postwar historical average over the last 65 years. “That’s hardly draconian. But it’s enough to assure that we keep our republic,” [Ken] Hagerty said.

A handful of Republican senators—Jim DeMint and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, John McCain of Arizona and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma—reportedly will push for a constitutional amendment when they return from the August recess. “We’ll bring that back between now and the election,” DeMint told The Hill earlier this month.

As I noted last week week, a balanced budget amendment passed the House in 1995, by a vote of 300 to 132. Unfortunately, it failed in the Senate by two votes, 65 to 35.

For all of the rhetoric regarding the “pay as you go” rules in Congress, which are not followed, you’d think such an idea would be a slam dunk, but not in this Congress. And with the latest CBO report on the budget, Republicans should start campaigning on this issue.

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