There’s been a push for decades to constitutionally require Congress to balance federal spending with revenue. And a current incarnation of this push would cap spending at 18 percent of GDP, which all 47 Republicans in the U.S. Senate have signed off on. But how far will the GOP take it?
In the coming weeks, the Congress will vote to raise the limit the federal government is able to borrow, known as the debt ceiling. And many on the left are warning of disastrous consequences if the Congress doesn’t allow the debt ceiling to be raised. However, Senate Republicans can stop or stall the measure with a filibuster.
On Mark Levin’s Monday night radio show an unnamed guest, who Levin told his listeners he verified as a Senate staffer, said at least one senator is going to filibuster efforts to lift the debt ceiling, unless a constitutional amendment mandating a balanced budget is added.
“I just wanted to tell you the strategy of the senator I’m proud of – is to filibuster any attempt to raise the debt ceiling unless there is balanced budget amendment passed to the Constitution,” he said.
The staffer encouraged Levin’s listeners to support the measure.
“Everybody in America who is listening, and I know your show is widely listened to, needs to get behind the balanced budget amendment or our country will go no further,” he said.
Levin explained to his audience wasn’t a fan of the title of the amendment, but he praised the senators that have publicly supported it.
“I don’t like the name of this thing – balanced budget amendment,” Levin said. “I bumped into Sen. [Orrin] Hatch at an airport and I told him that too. But there’s a lot of guys that have come together now, Mike Lee – boy that guy is good. I’m glad I backed him — from Utah, Mike Lee. Just terrific. And there are many others, just not enough. Now 47 Republicans last time I counted, that’s all of them in the Senate are behind this amendment.”
The conservative talker offered his interpretation of the current proposal offered by some Republicans.
“What does this amendment do?” Levin said. “Let me give you the brief version – it requires supermajority votes to raise taxes above the GDP limit. I’m not sure what they finally settled on. I think it was 18, 19 percent that the government can take out of the economy. Now it’s 25 percent and going north. So this amendment is crucial. There are a couple others that I would like to see but this is basically an amendment that was the brainchild of the great late Milton Friedman. And it would really but controls on the extent to which the federal government can spend and grow. Rand Paul’s behind it. Marco Rubio’s behind it. Orrin Hatch, Kyl and others have led the way on this and it’s absolutely crucial. So I agree. What are they going to do in the House? I don’t know. They don’t have a strategy in the House. I believe we were told off the air, I don’t remember that some of those senators are prepared to filibuster to get this done.”