Thursday, June 30, 2011

McConnell calls balanced-budget amendment to Senate floor

Some unfinished business from yesterday: Using an obscure rule, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called down a joint resolution onto the floor of the upper chamber for a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution. Passing an amendment to the supreme law of the land is difficult--it needs to pass the House and the Senate by a two-thirds majority--and then three quarters of the states need to ratify it.

A balanced-budget amendment has been the dream of conservatives for decades. I learned last night on Andrea Shea King's BlogTalkRadio show, through Elizabeth Letchworth, that back in 1995 Mark Hatfield of Oregon was the only Republican in the Senate to vote against it. His vote was the deciding one and the amendment has remained ethereal since then.

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