In it, but not of it. TPM DC

House Dems Kill GOP Balanced Budget Amendment


Scores of Democrats -- enough to clear the House -- voted for a similar amendment in 1995, after Republicans retook Congress under President Clinton. But Dem Whip Steny Hoyer -- one of those Democrats -- led the party's opposition to it this time around, citing 15 years of Republican policy that obliterated budget surpluses, and near-universal GOP opposition to raising taxes, which would make the BBA effectively a Constitutional requirement to slash government programs.

Policy experts widely pan most versions of the Balanced Budget Amendment -- particularly in weak economic times, when deficits are high -- as hugely disruptive social policy, and a dangerous restriction on the government's ability to stave off recessions and defend the country.