The Democrat-controlled Senate Thursday night voted down the House-passed budget that reached zero deficit by 2023. Then they voted up their own budget, which doesn’t even pretend to try to reach balance, instead adding $7 trillion more to our existing debt over those 10 years.
Via Power Line we learn that Senator Jeff Sessions (R, AL) offered an amendment to the Senate Budget Committee’s bill as it was being debated on the Senate floor. Sessions’ amendment, as all of these ought to be, was short, and to the point:
Mr. Sessions moves to commit S Con Res 8 back to the Committee on the Budget with instructions to report back no later than March 22, 2013 with such changes as may be necessary to achieve unified budget balance by fiscal year 2023.
From Senator Mike Lee’s (R, UT) office, we get a compilation of the statements of 23 Democratic Senators with the gist of their comments explicitly supported a balanced budget amendment. One has retired since his statement, and two were defeated in the 2012 reelection process. The remaining 20 are below:
SENATOR SHERROD BROWN (D-OH): “Before I ask for your vote, I owe it to you to tell you where I stand. I’m for… a balanced budget amendment.” (Rep. Brown, “Where I Stand,” YouTube, 11/1/06)
SENATOR DEBBIE STABENOW (D-MI): “I crossed the line to help balance the budget, as one of the Democrats that broke with my party.” (Michigan Senate Debate, 10/22/00)
SENATOR MARK BEGICH (D-AK): “It’s time to stop playing political brinksmanship with the budget and do what every Alaskan is doing – balance the budget.” (SENATOR Begich, “Begich Statement On 2011 Budget Vote,” Press Release, 4/15/11)
SENATOR BILL NELSON (D-FL): “Over the years, I have supported a balanced budget amendment…” (SENATOR Bill Nelson, Congressional Record, S.1920, 3/29/11)
SENATOR 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. And if they can do it, they think we can do it also.” (U.S. Senate, Budget Committee, Hearing, 1/27/11)
SENATOR BEN NELSON (D-NE): “I voted yes and support a balanced budget amendment that allows for flexibility in times of war and for natural disasters.” (SENATOR Nelson, Press Statement, 3/4/11)
SENATOR MARK UDALL (D-CO): “I’ve long gone by the saying, if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. By restoring healthy and responsible spending through a reasonable Balanced Budget Amendment, we can begin filling in that hole.” (SENATOR Udall, “Udall Co-Sponsors Balanced Budget Amendment,” Press Release, 2/1/11)
SENATOR MICHAEL BENNET (D-CO): “U.S. SENATOR Michael Bennet broke his hesitation on endorsing the balanced-budget amendment last week… pledging support for the idea.” (“Bennet Balancing His Approach To Budget,” Denver Post, 3/6/11)
SENATOR CLAIRE McCASKILL (D-MO): “I think they should. …It would be great if that discipline were in place. Clearly it’s a goal we’ve got to work toward…” “…responding to a question of why the federal government can’t have a balanced budget amendment…” SENATOR CLAIRE McCASKILL (D-MO): “I think they should. …It would be great if that discipline were in place. Clearly it’s a goal we’ve got to work toward…” (“McCaskill For ‘Responsible’ Balanced Budget Amendment,” PoliticMo, 6/29/11)
SENATOR KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D-NY): “New York families must continuously balance their checkbooks. Forty-nine states, including New York, require a balanced budget. An amendment to the Constitution will finally hold the federal government to the same, common sense standard.” (Rep. Gillibrand, “Nation Deserved A Balanced Budget,” The Time Union, 6/4/07)
SENATOR 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…” (SENATOR Carper, Congressional Record, S.8063-4, 7/14/04)
SENATOR HARRY REID (D-NV): “…I believe we should have a constitutional amendment to balance the budget. I am willing to go for that.” (SENATOR Reid, Congressional Record, S.1333, 2/12/97)
SENATOR MARY LANDRIEU (D-LA): “I took a position to support a Balanced Budget Amendment…” (SENATOR Landrieu, Press Conference, 2/25/1997)
SENATOR DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA): “The spending trends are what really motivates me, and I hope others, to accept a constitutional balanced budget amendment.” (SENATOR Feinstein, Congressional Record, S.1594, 2/26/97)
SENATOR TOM HARKIN (D-IA): “Mr. President, I have long supported a balanced budget amendment. I expect to do so again…” (SENATOR Harkin, Congressional Record, S.2460, 2/10/95)
SENATOR TIM JOHNSON (D-SD): “It is time to get our priorities straight. I’ve been a strong supporter of a balanced budget amendment…” (Rep. Johnson, Congressional Record, H.11213, 10/26/95)
SENATOR MAX BAUCUS (D-MT): “I have always supported a balanced budget. Montanans want a balanced budget. We must listen to the people and give them a balanced budget.” (SENATOR Baucus, Congressional Record, S.2469, 2/10/95)
SENATOR DICK DURBIN (D-IL): “…we need to move toward a Balanced Budget Amendment.” (Rep. Durbin, Congressional Record, H.1310, 1/11/95)
SENATOR JON TESTER (D-MT): “It’s absolutely critical.” “My folks did not teach me to not have a fiscal balanced budget. It’s absolutely critical… Because I am of the belief that you take care of your own self and you don’t pass your debts on to your kids… Let’s be fiscally responsible. Let’s have a fiscally balanced budget.” (Montana Senate Debate, 6/25/06)
“Jon Tester will lead efforts to balance the federal budget…” (“Real Change, Real Vision For Montana Plan,” Jon Tester Website, Accessed 7/14/11)
Tester Spokesman: “Of course Jon supports a balanced budget…” (“Rehberg Chides Tester Over Budget-Balancing Vote,” Billings Gazette, 3/3/11)
SENATOR BOB CASEY (D-PA): “I Believe In A Balanced Budget. Government Should Live Within Its Means, Like Any Small Business.” MR. RUSSERT: “Let me find out how you would implement something that you’re promising the voters of Pennsylvania. Here’s a Casey campaign ad about our budget.” (Videotape, Bob Casey campaign ad): MR. CASEY: “I believe in a balanced budget. Government should live within its means, like any small business.” MR. RUSSERT: “How would you get a balanced budget?” MR. CASEY: “It’s not easy, Tim, but here are the steps we should take. First of all, when it comes to the budget, what’s missing principally is a lack of fiscal responsibility, you know that. We’ve gone from about two, 236 of, of surplus down to 296 in deficit. We need some fiscal discipline.” (Pennsylvania Senate Debate, “Meet The Press,” 9/3/06)
They’re for a balanced budget amendment, but they won’t hold out for a budget that balances…sometime? Liars all, save Manchin, who was the only one of the crowd above to vote for the Sessions amendment. If only half of these were worthy of their word, this bill would have been sent back for work. And we keep reelecting these…fools.
Shame on us.