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Cardin: Balancing Federal Budget Doesn't Require Constitutional Amendment

Senator says balanced budget amendment would have "dire consequences on our economy."

Attempts to pass balanced budget amendments to the U.S. Constitution would have had "dire consequences" on the economy if they had been successful, according to Sen. Ben Cardin.

The U.S. Senate Wednesday voted down efforts to pass amendments to the Constitution that would require balanced federal budgets.

“Amending our constitution is not an acceptable way to address our nation’s long-term fiscal problems," said Cardin, a Maryland Democrat who is completing his first term in the senate. "It could have dire consequences on our economy, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, education, clean air and clean water, national security, and other critical government programs. In addition, the constraints of a balanced budget amendment could leave us unprepared to respond quickly to natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, terrorist attacks like 9/11, and financial crises like the recent mortgage meltdown."

“We can balance the budget without changing our constitution.  We have done it before – and we can do it again," said Cardin in a statement released Wednesday afternoon. 

Cardin, in his statement, advocated a return to policies that guided the federal budget under President Bill Clinton.

"From Fiscal Years 1998 through 2001 we had balanced budgets," said Cardin in his statement, adding Republicans "rarely tout the successes of that era, but I believe that we should use those policies as a guide. 

"There are solutions, budget controls that can lead to better outcomes.  And there are bipartisan options.”

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Buck Harmon December 16, 2011 at 12:55 AM
Campaign finance reform first..... then term limits = public service before self service..
Tom Henry December 16, 2011 at 01:29 PM
Buck, they've "tried" that (remember McCain Feingold (BCRA of 2002), or FECA back in 1972 and amended in 1974). I believe we need to push back on their ability to be career politicians by having them create phony legislation like the above that do nothing more that provide loopholes for incumbents.
reader February 23, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Has sucked from the public trough his entire career. Same with MOM, but these dumb citizens of Maryland must love it, because they keep voting the same lame brains into office.
Tim February 23, 2012 at 02:29 PM
Completely agree, Buck.
Michael Ernest February 23, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Wait a minute now-I think you left off Mikulski and most of the other congressional representatives like Cummings, and not to forget those in the MD legislature. They all deserve equal billing. Term limits - needed badly!

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