Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) added yet another condition for House Republicans to vote to raise the debt ceiling — passing a Balanced Budget Amendment.Boehner, who has already doubled down on his opposition to new taxes while demanding ever-greater spending cuts, called for the Constitutional amendment yesterday, saying a bill not including support for the amendment or something close to it would not pass the House.
“We have to have real controls in place to make sure this never happens again — real controls like a Balanced Budget Amendment,” he said.
A balanced budget amendment to the Constitution has no chance of ever becoming law, and Boehner knows it. Not only is the bar for ratification impossibly high — especially with Democrats controlling the Senate — but the wisdom of such an amendment is also in doubt.
Democrats contend a balanced budget amendment would limit the government’s flexibility to respond to crises, while flying in the face of 80 years of Keynesian economics.
White House Spokesman Jay Carney said last week that the President does not support including a balanced budget amendment as part of the debt ceiling package. This is not a constitutional issue,” he said.
“And the fact is, is that the balanced budget amendment would be — is basically an admission by Congress that they can’t do anything, right? And that’s not true, as these discussions that we’re engaged in right now. And it should not be true, and it’s a shame if people actually believe that. So, no, we don’t support it,” he said.
The Wall Street Journal editorialised Wednesday that pursuing the balanced budget amendment would end up being a political victory for House Democrats.
“Republicans who say they can use the debt limit to force Democrats to agree to a balanced budget amendment are dreaming. Such an amendment won’t get the two-thirds vote to pass the Senate, but it would give every Democrat running for re-election next year a chance to vote for it and claim to be a fiscal conservative.”
Last week all 47 Senate Republicans signed a letter backing the balanced budget amendment.
Boehner’s three conditions for raising the debt ceiling:
- Spending Cuts That Exceed Any Debt Limit Increase;
- No Tax Hikes Because Tax Hikes Will Destroy Jobs;
- and Reforms That Restrain Future Government Spending(like Spending Caps and a Balanced Budget Amendment)
Watch Boehner explain his conditions:
Update: Corrected Speaker Boehner’s home state to Ohio.
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