July 19, 2011

Vetoing Responsibility
As Obama Continues To Drive Up The Nation’s Debt, He Threatens To Veto A Path Toward Fiscal Balance And Responsibility

The President Has Threatened To Veto The “Cut, Cap And Balance Act Of 2011” Which Will Cut And Cap Spending And Require The Passage Of A Balanced Budget Amendment. “The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 2560, the ‘Cut, Cap and Balance Act of 2011.’ Neither setting arbitrary spending levels nor amending the Constitution is necessary to restore fiscal responsibility. … If the President were presented this bill for signature, he would veto it.” (Press Release, “Statement Of Administration Policy: H,R, 2560 – Cut, Cap And Balance
Act Of 2011,” The White House, 7/18/11)

White House Opposition Driven In Part By Belief That Our Debt Problem “Does Not Require A Constitutional Amendment.” CARNEY: “A balanced budget amendment has, today and has always been, about ducking responsibility rather than taking our challenges head on. This is not -- we don’t need -- I mean, the Constitution should not be used to simply abdicate responsibility. What we need to do here is not complicated. It does not require a constitutional amendment and the ratification by preponderance of states here.” (Press Briefing By Press Secretary Jay Carney, Washington D.C., 7/13/11)

While Families Across The Country Have To Balance Their Budgets, The National Debt Has Increased By $3.7 Trillion Under President Obama. (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 7/10/11) In February, Obama Proposed A $3.73 Trillion Budget, Which Will Result In $46 Trillion In Spending Over Ten Years And Deficits Totaling $9.5 Trillion. (“Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Of The U.S. Government," Office Of Management And
Budget, 2/14/11; “An Analysis Of The President’s Budgetary Proposals For Fiscal Year 2012,” Congressional Budget Office, April 2011)

In 2021, Obama’s Budget Will Drive Our Total Debt To $26.3 Trillion, Equaling 107 Percent Of GDP. (“Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Of The U.S. Government," Office Of Management And Budget, 2/14/11)

CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf: Our Growing Debt Increases Risk Of “Sudden Fiscal Crisis.” “Growing debt also would increase the probability of a sudden fiscal crisis, during which investors would lose confidence in the government’s ability to manage its budget and the government would thereby lose its ability to borrow at affordable rates.” (Douglas Elmendorf, “CBO’s 2011 Long-Term Budget Outlook,” Congressional Budget Office “Director’s
Blog”, 6/22/11)

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Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV): “[I] Believe We Should Have A Constitutional Amendment To Balance The Budget. I Am Willing To Go For That.” (Sen. Reid, Congressional Record, S.1333, 2/12/97) Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL): “[I] Was An Early Advocate Of A Balanced Budget.” (Bill Nelson, U.S. Senate Debate, 10/12/00) In 2006, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) Expressed Support For A Balanced Budget Amendment. KLOBUCHAR: “If we can get that balanced budget in place and we can move on this, we’re going to be able to secure Social Security for the future. I believe Social Security is the fundamental way that we can protect people in this country.” (NBC’s “Meet The Press,” 10/15/06) In 2006, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) Supported A Balanced Budget Amendment. BROWN: “I stood up to a president of my own party . . . In support of the balance budget amendment, in restoring fiscal sanity to our government...” (Rep. Sherrod Brown, Ohio Senate Debate, 10/27/06) Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV): “[T]he Balanced Budget Amendment's Very, Very Important To Me And To Every Governor, To Every State, To Every Household, Especially In West Virginia.” (U.S. Senate, Budget
Committee, Hearing, 1/27/11)

Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE): “As A Member Of The House, When I Served With Senator Santorum Over There, We Were Great Proponents Of Something Called A Balanced Budget Amendment To The Constitution…” (Sen. Carper, Congressional Record, S.8063-4, 7/14/04) Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND): “I Believe Deeply In The Need To Balance The Federal Budget… I Would Support An Amendment To The Constitution.” (Sen. Conrad, Congressional Record, S.1147, 2/10/97) Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI): “The Balanced Budget Amendment Does, In My Opinion, Embody A Principle Simple And Vital Enough To Deserve Inclusion In The Constitution.” (Sen. Kohl, Congressional Record, S.1609, 2/26/97) Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA): “The Spending Trends Are What Really Motivates Me, And I Hope Others, To Accept A Constitutional Balanced Budget Amendment.” (Sen. Feinstein, Congressional Record, S.1594,

In 2011, Ten Democratic Senators Voted In Support of Sen. Mike Lee’s Balanced Budget Amendment. “Among the 58 ‘yes’ votes were 10 Democrats: Mark Begich (Alaska), Michael Bennet (Colo.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Tom Carper (Del.), Herb Kohl (Wis.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Ben Nelson (Neb.) and Mark Udall (Colo.).” (Felicia Sonmez, “10 Senate Democrats Back Balanced Budget Measure,” The Washington Post,

In February 2011, Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) Co-Sponsored A Balanced Budget Amendment. (Allison Sherry,
“Sen. Mark Udall Pushes For Balanced Budget Amendment,” The Denver Post, 2/1/11)

Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC): “It’s Not Hard To Get Me To Vote For A Balanced-Budget Amendment. That’s What We Are All About. We Are About Getting Rid Of Deficits.” (Alan K. Ota, “Swing Dems Ponder Amendment,”
Congress.org, 5/2/11)

17 Current House Democrats Co-Sponsored Balanced Budget Amendments Last Year. (H.J. Res. 78, Introduced,

In Early 2011, Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) Introduced A Balanced Budget Amendment. “The Cuellar bill requires Congress to produce a balanced budget each year and would require the president to submit a balanced budget to the legislature.” (Ron Maloney, “Cuellar’s First Bill Demands A Balanced Budget,” Seguin Gazette [Seguine, TX], 1/13/11)

Reps. Jason Altmire (D-PA) And Jim Cooper (D-TN) Co-Sponsored Cuellar’s Balanced Budget Amendment. (H.J. Res. 10, Introduced, 1/6/11)
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In 2010, Rep. Bobby Bright (D-Al) Proposed A Balanced Budget Amendment To The Constitution. (H.J.
Res. 78, Introduced 3/2/10)

Rep. Bright’s Proposed Amendment Was Co-Sponsored By Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA), Rep. John Barrow (D-GA), Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-IA), Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA), Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA), Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA), Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-NC), Rep. Jim Matheson (D-NC), Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK), Rep. Mike Michaud (D-ME), Rep. John Donnelley (D-IN), Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-CA), Rep. Henry Cuellar (DTX), and Rep. Jim Costa (D-TX). (H.J. Res. 78, Introduced 3/2/10)

In 2007, Then Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) Proposed A Balanced Budget Amendment To The Constitution. (H.J. Res. 45, Introduced 6/12/07)

“It Is My Hope That My Proposal Will Start A Dialog On The Serious Need For A Balanced Budget, Every Single Year.” (Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand, “Future Generations Will Benefit from Balanced Budget Amendment, “The Hill’s
"Congress Blog", 6/21/07)

Rep. Gillibrand’s Proposed Amendment Was Co-Sponsored Rep. John Barrow (D-GA), Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK), Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-IA), Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-CA), Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT), Rep. Mike Mcintyre (D-NC), Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Me), and Rep. Mike Thompson (DCA). (H.J. Res. 45, Introduced 6/12/07)

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