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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Balanced budget amendment fails in U.S. House



The Republican-controlled U.S. House put a balanced budget amendment up for a vote today and it died, as expected, for lack of two-thirds support.

The vote was 261-165. Twenty-five Democrats voted for it, but none from Florida. (AP story here) Some reaction from Florida Republicans:

Rep. Tom Rooney: “Our national debt crossed the $15 trillion threshold this week – nearly $10 trillion higher than when Congress almost passed a balanced budget amendment in 1995, and nearly $5 trillion higher than when President Obama took office.  Only a balanced budget amendment can ensure that we never again face a debt crisis like we do today.  Forty-nine states and millions of American families and small businesses balance their budgets – it is past time for the federal government to do the same.”

Rep. Sandy Adams: "With 14 million Americans out of work, the only way to get our economy back on track and to create jobs is to address the root of our nation’s economic crisis: overspending.  It’s unfortunate that some have chosen to put partisan politics ahead of the interests of the American people."

Rep. Steve Southerland: “In an effort to show that we can actually find common ground in Washington, today I voted for a balanced budget amendment that Democrat Whip Steny Hoyer and over 70 other Democrats have previously voted for.  I pledged last year to fight for a balanced budget amendment in Congress, and 260 colleagues from both parties joined me in acknowledging that Washington can no longer spend more money than it has."

Rep. David Rivera: “A Balanced Budget Amendment would have been the first step toward implementing long-term solutions to our country’s spending addiction.  49 states currently abide by some kind of balanced budget requirement.  The Balanced Budget Amendment fell one vote short of passage in the United States Senate 15 years ago and our national debt has nearly tripled in size since then.

Rep. Vern Buchanan: “Unbelievably, in the last 50 years, the federal budget has only been balanced five times. 49 out of 50 states, including Florida, have balanced budget requirements.  Why should Washington be any different?”

Rep. Allen West: "When I – along with 86 of my Freshmen colleagues – were elected a little more than a year ago, we pledged to change the conversation in our Nation’s Capital.  Despite today's failed resolution, I believe we have changed that conversation.  It is more important than ever Americans continue to get involved in the political process and elect legislators who believe in doing what is right for this country.  Americans are balancing their family budget, it is imperative leaders have the courage to do the same.

Sen. Marco Rubio: “I support a balanced budget amendment that is strong, meaningful and will actually help end Washington’s spending spree.  The best measure is one that requires supermajorities to raise taxes and increase the debt limit, while enacting a cap on all federal spending, ideally at 18 percent of gross domestic product, like the amendment supported by all 47 Senate Republicans.  Each of these provisions is vital to ensure that a balanced budget amendment effectively restrains spending and protects against automatic, job-killing tax increases. Unfortunately, that’s not what the House considered today.  Taxpayers deserve a strong balanced budget amendment that will truly help end the decades-long legacy of out-of-control spending by both parties.”

Democratic Rep. Kathy Castor of Tampa spoke against the amendment on the floor yesterday:

[Last modified: Friday, November 18, 2011 3:46pm]


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