Rep. Morgan Griffith with Rep. Goodlatte Press Conference
Continued from: Economy will collapse without a Balanced Budget Amendment
While addressing the media in Roanoke Friday Virginia’s 6th district Republican Representative Bob Goodlatte quoted a poll saying, “81% of Americans supported [a balanced budget amendment].” He didn’t attribute the poll to any one source. [ Tea Partiers at 81% in this FOX poll]
A FOX poll put 72% of Americans supporting a balanced budget amendment, Rasmussen had one at 56% and others varied in between. In all the polls when the question was put to respondents asking if they would support a BBA with cuts to Medicare and Social Security BBA support plummeted.
The FOX poll showed support waning from 72% to 31% with Medicare and SS cuts. A majority also opposes the amendment if it means tax increases.
A CNN poll showed that 74% wanted a balanced budget amendment in the U.S. Constitution but in a second question 60% (14% less of the same respondents) said that a BBA was necessary to get the federal budget deficit under control.
The poll also discovered that 64% of Americans want to see both spending cuts and tax increases. Breaking the poll down further – an average of 85% did not want cuts to come from Medicare or Social Security. Americans liked the idea of hitting oil companies up for higher taxes and favored tax increases for those making over $250,000 a year. Both received 73% favorability.
A vote on a balanced budget amendment was guaranteed this past summer as part of the debt ceiling negotiations. Rep. Bob Goodlatte introduced House Joint Resolution No. 1 that requires a super majority (2/3 of House and Senate) to raise taxes.
It sets a cap on spending at 18% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It requires a bipartisan vote of 290 votes in the House and 67 votes in the Senate. “That’s a challenge … you need 50 Democrats to vote for it,” he said.
Goodlatte admitted H. J. Res. 1 wouldn’t pass and has offered H. J. Res. 2, a bill that he says is identical to the bill that passed in the House in 1995. “Twenty Democrats co-sponsored it “with indications of probably about 35” more Democrats that will vote for it,” he said.
“We are in the 275-280 range,” said Goodlatte.
Virginia Congressman Bobby Scott’s office in a phone call said that at this point they are not even counting votes. Scott serves on the Judiciary Committee.
[NOTE: The Judiciary Committee is still meeting on a compromise bill – Tuesday at 10:00 a.m is the next meeting]
In a letter to all 434 of his congressional colleagues Rep. Scott wrote: Current spending as percent of GDP is 40% and has not been below 18% since Medicare was passed. Inacting the 18% cap would pit Medicare and Social Security against all other federal spending.
Griffith says that any compromise amendment must at least be equivalent to “what the state’s constitutions require.” Congressman Griffith is a co-sponsor of both bills.
Griffith reiterated the “culture shock” he experienced when elected to congress in 2009. Mandatory spending with no cap was a new phenomenon to him. Goodlatte’s balanced budget amendment would fix that in H. J. Res. 1 according to Griffith.
“Washington needs to get the horse in front of the cart instead of behind the cart because right now that cart is in a rut and the horse is not in a position to push its way out,” said Griffith.
“Even the worse performance by the states is far, far better then the what the congress is doing,” said Goodlatte. Even a state like California he said.
Griffith agreed with Goodlatte; “if the states can do it so can the federal government.”
TO BE CONTINUED – 49 out of 50 states have BBA in their constitution?
Posted By Valerie Garner
Categories: Local Events, National, Politics
Tags: budget, congress, republican