Budget Amendment: Very Likely Contrary to the U.S. Constitution
Before getting down to serious business to craft some form of solution to the looming debt ceiling deadline of August 2, a number of bills will be brought to the floor for symbolic votes in the Republican Party controlled House of Representatives. None of the bills are expected to pass.
It is alleged that these actions are being offered as political cover for any possible deal that may eventually be cut with President Obama as well as an effort to somehow placate the various TEA Party freshmen in the House that are stuck in neutral, entrenched in their positions, being led by Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, it has been opined, against the efforts of Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner.
One idea and bill that has been crafted is a balanced budget amendment bill, an idea that has been trumpeted by conservatives and the Right Wing of the GOP, the TEA Party.
However, this approach may not be exactly constitutional, which in the past, has been the litmus test for those claiming TEA Party affinity, stating their desire to uphold the U.S. Constitution.
.... Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution vests in Congress — even before the commerce power — are “[t]o lay and collect Taxes . . . to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States” and “[t]o borrow money on the credit of the United States.”
Regarding attempts to change the Constitution with a balanced budget amendment, ....
.... critics say the amendment is little more than political posturing that impresses voters but still leaves lawmakers facing painful decisions about which programs to cut or taxes to increase.
“Politicians use them to sound like they’re doing something substantial on the deficit when in fact they’re not,” said Robert Bixby ....
Mr. Bixby is the executive director of a nonpartisan balanced budget advocacy group called Concord Coalition.
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States