Monday, August 1, 2011

House passes debt ceiling bill 269 – 161

Balanced budget amendment to follow before October

Washington – In a vote that evenly split the Democratic delegation 95 to 95, the House of Representatives passed a debt ceiling budget at about 7 p.m. ET by a margin of 269 – 161.

Only 66 Republicans voted against the measure, which will require the government to reduce spending by about $2.4 trillion dollars over the next decade and at the same time allow financing of an additional $2.4 trillion in national debt.

A balanced budget amendment will have to be passed and sent to the states for ratification before the beginning of the next fiscal year in October.

Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-IL, expressed caution that any such amendment would throw the question into the hands of the judiciary for interpretation if the government is unable to exercise its will to require a balance of funds spent with revenue income in any budget period.

He was answered by Republican Rep. Trent Franks of South Carolina, who said that unlike such cases of “legislation from the bench” as Roe v. Wade wherein the Court decided that the unborn “are not human” and therefore beyond the protection of the government, this question will be straightforward and easy to interpret. Either there is more money going out than coming in, or not.

The Senate will vote on a similar version of the plan at noon on Tuesday, August 2, the deadline day for refinancing the national debt without the full faith and credit of the U.S. going into default.

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