Democrat Senator Mark Udall Supports Balanced Budget Amendment
I guess balancing the budget is now truly a bipartisan issue:
Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) announced Tuesday that he will co-sponsor a Constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget.
He is the first Democrat to sponsor such a measure in many years.
Udall is introducing his balanced budget amendment bill with Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.). The bill would require that spending not exceed revenue in any given year.
The Udall bill would also limit federal spending to the historical average of 20 percent of gross domestic product in a given year. It currently stands at 24.7 percent.
The Udall bill would allow Congress, through three-fifths votes in both houses, to waive the balanced budget requirement. In this way it differs from a rival GOP balanced budget bill, proposed by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) with 23 co-sponsors, which would require a two-thirds vote of both Houses to exceed the 20 percent cap or to spend more than is collected in revenues.
A balanced budget amendment would require support from two-thirds of both Houses and three-fourths of the states in order to become part of the Constitution. In 1997, a balanced budget amendment with bipartisan support and fell just shy of the votes needed for passage.
Now, what’s interesting, as HotAir’s Allahpundit points out, is that Udall is not up for reelection till 2014. So, I think it’s likely that he truly is a Blue Dog Democrat who really thinks spending is out of control, because otherwise he probably wouldn’t tackle this till it’s closer to his re-election attempt.
Of course, in Harry Reid’s Senate, they’re not likely to get 67 votes for this… but once again, this is a good chance to differentiate between those elected officials that got the message of 2010 and those that didn’t, and that’s a good thing… though it really throws a huge monkey wrench into those folks who like to try to claim that there’s no difference between the two parties.
Kudos to Sen. Udall… a Democrat I can agree with… on this issue, at least.