Calling it the failure of a legislation gimmick, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-8) today heralded the U.S. House of Representatives' bipartisan rejection of the Balanced Budget Amendment by a vote of 261-165. Two thirds of the House members, or 290 votes, are required for House passage of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
"This amendment was nothing more than a legislative gimmick, but with incredibly dangerous consequences. It would have stymied the federal government from responding to the needs of the American people and force devastating cuts that would impact our seniors, veterans and the middle class," said Pascrell, a member of the House Budget Committee. "We need to balance the budget. We've proven that we do not need to pass an amendment to our Constitution to achieve that. From 1998 to 2000, the federal government balanced it budget and we didn't need a Constitutional amendment to do it. This "feel good" effort doesn't produce a balanced budget in the first place. Additionally, this amendment would have required a two-thirds majority to approve emergency disaster aid. After Hurricane Irene, we couldn't' even get a majority to support emergency aid unless it was offset by partisan cuts. This provision would have only made the situation worse."