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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Senate Republicans Unite To Push Balanced Budget Amendment

Update 2;13 CDT: President Obama today called for higher taxes instead of larger spending cuts as part of his request for a debt limit increase. Speaker John Boehner responded to the remarks by President Obama:
“The President's remarks today ignore legislative and economic reality, and demonstrate remarkable irony. His administration has been burying our kids and grandkids in new debt and offered no plan to rein in spending. Republicans have been leading and offering solutions to put the brakes on this spending binge. The President has been AWOL from that debate.

The President is sorely mistaken if he believes a bill to raise the debt ceiling and raise taxes would pass the House. The votes simply aren’t there – and they aren’t going to be there, because the American people know tax hikes destroy jobs. They also know Washington has been on a spending binge for many years, and they will only tolerate a debt limit increase if we stop it.

The new majority in the House is going to stand with the American people. A debt limit increase can only pass the House if it includes spending cuts larger than the debt limit increase; includes reforms to hold down spending in the future; and is free from tax hikes. The longer the President denies these realities, the more difficult he makes this process. If the president embraces a measure that meets these tests, he has my word that the House will act on it. Anything less cannot pass the House.”
Today in Washington, D.C. - June 29, 2011:
Confronted by the House Republicans standing for reducing governments and balancing the budget and the Senate Republicans today kicking off a media blitz to push a balanced budget amendment, President Obama took to the air waives via a White House press conference. What we heard and saw was more pontification and questionable rhetoric with minimum leadership in reducing the size of government, releasing the economic engine of America or stopping the wasting the use of military resources in Libya and other locations with no direct impact on today's American interests. Seeking now to Fact Check his comments.

House in Recess. Senate resumed consideration of S. 679, the nominations reform bill. Before have began 4 roll call votes on pending amendments to the bill, followed by a vote on final passage. The bill will require 60 votes to pass. The amendments the Senate will consider are two from Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), one to block certain loans to the IMF and one to remove various congressional affairs and press positions from the scope of the bill, one from Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), to remove military comptrollers from the bill, and one from Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) removing IMF governors from the bill.

After the Senate completes work on S. 679, it will take up S. Res. 116, the resolution streamlining Senate rules on nominations. Following an hour of debate, the Senate is scheduled to vote on an amendment from Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK). If all amendments to the resolution are worked through, the Senate could vote on passage of S. Res. 116 today.

Roll Call reports today, “Republican Senators are set to kick off a media blitz to push a balanced budget amendment, beginning Wednesday in D.C. and building up through their July Fourth recess next week, when Members will flood local papers and airwaves with support. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) laid the groundwork for the campaign Sunday, when he told ABC News that he would call for a mid-July vote. More than a dozen lawmakers will hold a news conference Wednesday morning to reintroduce the bill they touted in March, followed by colloquies on the floor Wednesday and Thursday and multiple television appearances throughout the week.”

Indeed, though President Obama is also holding a news conference this morning, Senate Republicans will be offering an important contrast with the president. At the same time President Obama is explaining to reporters why he thinks taxpayers should take the hit for his out of control spending, a large group of Senate Republicans will be fighting to make the government live within its means and balance its budget.

Roll Call adds, “All 47 Members of the Republican Conference have united behind the balanced budget amendment, a rare occurrence in a Conference that encompasses moderates such as Olympia Snowe of Maine and tea party darlings like Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah. . . . In March, 10 Democrats backed a ‘sense of the Senate’ amendment offered by Lee in support of a balanced budget amendment: Mark Begich (Alaska), Michael Bennet (Colo.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Tom Carper (Del.), Herb Kohl (Wis.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Ben Nelson (Neb.) and Mark Udall (Colo.). . . . ‘America faces a choice — do we go broke or do we enact a balanced budget amendment to slash our over $14 trillion debt? That’s why we are forcing this debate that Washington Democrats don’t want to have, because we have to start living within our means,’ said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who will lead the floor colloquy Wednesday.”

Speaking on the floor this morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell explained the importance of a balanced budget amendment in the context of the starkly different approaches of Republicans and Democrats to our nation’s fiscal crisis. “Republicans believe that if you increase spending to the point that you can no longer pay the bills, then you need to find a way to cut costs. Democrats seem to think that if you increase spending to the point that you can no longer pay the bills, you need to find other people to pick up the tab. This is the fundamental difference between the two parties in this debate: Republicans think that Democrats should be held accountable for the way they’ve mismanaged the national checkbook over the past two years, and Democrats seem to think taxpayers should take the hit.”

“Democrats spent beyond their means, and now they expect a bailout — from the taxpayers
. That’s what this debate is all about: it’s about holding Washington accountable for a change. It’s about drawing a line in the sand and saying, no, the taxpayers will not bail out politicians. It’s about refusing to subsidize the Democrats’ irresponsible spending habits another day. Democrats have shown through their reckless spending over the past two years that they’re not all that concerned about our fiscal future. They shouldn’t expect to be rewarded for it.”

“And that’s why all 47 Republicans in the Senate support a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The debate we’ve been having here over the past few days shows more than ever why we need a Balanced Budget Amendment in Congress. A Balanced Budget Amendment would require that lawmakers stop spending money we don’t have. And when we come back from the July 4th break we will fight for an opportunity to vote for it. Broke or Balanced. That’s the choice. The American people should know where their senators stand on this issue of accountability. Senators can talk all day long . . . A vote in favor of the Balanced Budget Amendment will show that they mean it. A vote against it will show that they don’t. . . . Republicans are totally united in this effort. All we need is 20 Democrats to join us.”

Tags: Washington, D.C., Republican, Balanced Budget Amendment, US Senate, Democrats, federal sppending, Barack Obama To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 12:33 PM - Post Link

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