Amodei backs, Berkley opposes balanced budget amendment

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Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., said Thursday he supports the proposed balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

"Washington, D.C. has a fatal spending problem, which is every American's problem because it's dragging down our economy and our way of life," he said. "Unless we get spending under control now, the country we give our grandchildren will be in far worse shape than the one we inherited."

But Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., said in a floor speech that the proposed amendment is dangerous and wrong for Nevada and the rest of the nation.

"It would force massive cuts to Social Security, Medicare and veterans benefits, but big oil companies and corporations that ship jobs overseas aren't asked to sacrifice one penny under this Balanced Budget Amendment," she said.

Amodei said a balanced budget amendment tells Congress and the president that enough is enough. But he said there isn't the willin Washington to quit spending.

"Instead, they want more taxes, more of your money, and more of your company's money to spend," he said.

"We need to break the addiction. Federal government spending is not the answer to every problem."

Berkley said she agrees the nation must get its deficit under control.

"But I cannot and I will not support a Balanced Budget Amendment that doesn't include ironclad protections for Social Security, Medicare andveterans benefits," she told colleagues.

To become part of the Constitution, the proposed amendment would have to be approved by two-thirds of each congressional house and three quarters of the state legislatures. The proposal would prohibit federal spending in any fiscal year that exceeds revenues received for that year. It allows the requirement to be waived in an emergency situation if three-fifths of each Congressional house approves.


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