Boehner Adds Balanced Budget Amendment To His Proposal To Win Over Hold Outs

The vote on Speaker John Boehner’s plan to raise the debt ceiling was delayed last night as a couple of dozen Republican hold outs refused to go along with it. Today the Speaker announces that he’s including the balanced budget amendment in the deal to sweeten the pot.

With the U.S. moving perilously closer to default on its loans to cover years of deficit spending, the majority leader announced his plan to cut $2.5 trillion from the deficit over a decade. At the same time, House Speaker John Boehner announced he would include a balanced budget amendment in his proposal, which appeared to earn him the support he needed from recalcitrant Republicans. …

Boehner’s new provision for a balanced budget amendment would appear to have been the sweetener needed to win over as many as two-dozen holdout Republicans who want greater cuts in federal spending before agreeing to hike the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling.

The latest text of the legislation is here, but what this adds is a requirement that a balanced budget amendment be not just voted on but passed by both houses of Congress before the debt ceiling is raised again.

Remember that Boehner’s plan originally called for the debt ceiling to be raised twice between now and the 2012 election. One roughly $1 trillion increase would take us through the latter part of next year, with a second increase needing to be approved then.

Democrats, including every single Senate Democrat, have said that they’ll oppose any plan that doesn’t delay the next debt cap increase until after the 2012 elections.

Boehner’s plan would still allow for at least $1 trillion in new debt before a balanced budget amendment is ever even voted on (and a BBA even after passing Congress, and presuming it would be signed into law by Obama, would take years to be ratified by the states) in exchange for $1 trillion in cuts most of which would take place years down the road.

It’s an ugly deal, but the BBA inclusion might just be enough to get it through the House. Though to what end, one wonders, with Democrats saying they’ll kill it.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • Neiman

    The truth is the GOP only controls once house of Congress and the Democrats have the upper hand, they need not pass anything, Obama can veto anything and with the 14th Amendment lie hanging out there, Obama can just dictate an increase in the debt limit. Unconstitutional sure, but what the hell do the Democrats care about the Constitution? If Reid’s still nonexistent plan emerges and passes the Senate on a party line vote, which includes, three NE RINO’s, I still can’t see the Tea Party GOP members in the house voting for it – I agree, so it will take a huge number of Democrat votes and RINO/Moderate GOP votes. So, it seems to me there is either no deal at all possible, or the Democrats are back in full power and they might as well elevate Pelosi back to House Speaker.

    This is a damn mess caused by the Democrats running up the debt and wanting it even higher. Boehner may be toast. Lastly, I see no plan that even in a very minor way cuts the debt/spending and/or holds down taxes, so no matter what happens, America loses. Will the American people see it?

  • Jvette

     As we have seen over and over again, these jackals in DC are more than willing to bury us in debt to provide cover for their out of control spending.

    Does a balanced budget amendment mean that they must cut spending to reflect revenues, or increase revenues to reflect spending?

  • Dakotacyr

    DOA in the Senate.  will  never see the light of passage.

  • whowon

    If it is dead in the senate, harry getsthe blame.

    • Dakotacyr

      Hardly, it is a poison pill.  Even the senate republicans know that won’t see the light of day.

      • Neiman

        Harry’s bill is dead in the House, thank God! So, we should just relax and not raise the debt limit, we are paralyzed or are you waiting for Chavez Obama to apply the 14th Amendment and dictate a raise in that limit?

        • Bat One

          If Dear Leader tries to raise the debt limit on his own, he’ll be impeached.

          • Neiman

            While there is a slim possibility that there could be articles of impeachment in the House, it may though I have serious doubts, but absolutely no conviction in the Senate – it is Democrat/RINO controlled. It could prove dangerous, seen by blacks as racist and create bloody riots in the streets just in reaction to passing articles of impeachment, it might remotely even insure his reelection and hurt Republicans.

            In short while you are technically correct and it would be sustainable legally, IMO it is fraught with many minefields, it is very dangerous. I am not arguing against it, just issuing a warning that it will be no cake walk and that cake could have a bomb in it!

          • Spartacus

            seen by blacks as racist and create bloody riots in the streets just in reaction to passing articles of impeachment

            I say let them riot. Remember the ’68 riots? No, how about the Toledo riots a few years ago? They mostly destroy their own property and spill their own blood. A self loathing bunch they are. Impeach and let them have at it, Obama promised shovel ready jobs.

          • Neiman

            I appreciate your points and we should not act out of fear, but only on principle. On the other hand, I believe in the biblical admonition that a wise king/general before going to war counts the costs and if he finds he is heavily outnumbered, will send an ambassador to press for peace. This is our first venture into this territory – having a black president and while I could be wrong and it is a matter of guesstimating on my part, I do think in reaction to this black president even possibly suffering impeachment, we could see our cities burned to the ground. Yes, they mostly hurt themselves, but I suspect in going after a black president that circle of devastation and violence could extend far beyond their homes and cause Marshall law in every major city and other lesser cities in America.

            So, those articles better be clear and based on solid Constitutional Law. Wait, there is no such thing as solid Constitutional Law, so I would just advise caution if that occurs and if it seems worth the cost – go for it.

            By the way, I lived as a young adult through the entire Sixties, I think I have some good first hand knowledge.

          • Spartacus

            I know you were around in the ’60’s, you just appeared to need to be reminded. What lesson is taught when you burn your own house down, other than you’re an idiot?

          • Neiman

            Are you expecting me to argue with you?

            Still, there is a possibility they could expand their many ground zero’s if Obama is impeached.

          • Spartacus

            No, I don’t expect an argument. Quite the converse if you’re honest with yourself, honesty being a relative term given that I’m not the religious type even though I’m the type that believes you’re within you’re right to profess religion…I guess I’m weird!

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

             Buddying up with the guy who likes to insult people by their race, eh Neiman?

            They mostly destroy their own property and spill their own blood. A self loathing bunch they are.

            Do you believe blacks are self loathing as well, my Christian brother who has lost his way?

    • Camsaure

      NO they don’t get the blame RINO Boner has just handed Obama and Reid a blank check, The senate will modify the bill and send it back to the house where upon it will be hardly recognizable, and guess what the Republicans will still get the blame, and deservedly so I must add except for the few freshmen/tea party holdouts. Sadly by next week I will be able to say “I told you so”.

  • Brenarlo

    I fail to see how they can make something contingent on something else.  *IF* Boehner’s new plan gets through Congess, they’ll get the debt ceiling raised.  Then instead of following through with the second part, they’ll just scrap it and start all over.

    • Bat One

      That’s what’s going to happen in any case, so long as liberals control either house of Congress and/or the White House. 

  • Bat One

    The House has already passed both a budget bill and the so-called “Cut, Cap, and Balance” bill.  The Democrat-controlled Senate has refused to hold a vote on either.  And of course, no one has actually seen Reid’s supposed bill or Obama’s “plan.”.

    Mr. Boehner ought to simply adjourn the House until the Senate takes some sort of action.  Since the Democrats clearly want a crisis, let them have their crisis.  There’s no argument about which side has done its constitutional duty and which side hasn’t.  Particularly as it has been some 900 days since the Democrat-controlled Senate passed a budget bill.

    • EugeneGraner

      Boehner should just pass the present bill with the balance budget admentment and 6 months credit. Make dirty Harry responsible for the hang up.