A decision today by the U.S. Senate to reject legislation calling for a balanced federal budget is a setback for the nation and our economy, said Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch. Both senators co-sponsored and voted in favor of the legislation requiring a balanced budget vote as a condition of raising the nation's debt ceiling. The Senate tabled the Cut, Cap and Balance legislation on a mostly party-line vote of 51 to 46, meaning the Senate will not be allowed by the Majority to vote up-or-down on Cut, Cap and Balance.
"Remember that nearly every state in the nation requires a balanced budget," Crapo said. "The U.S. House took courageous action in swiftly passing this necessary legislation and I am beyond disappointed that a majority of Senators failed to match their determination. The need to create jobs is paramount and today's Senate vote is a step in the wrong direction. We have various proposals before us to reduce spending but none of them carry the clout of a balanced budget amendment. I remain concerned about what will happen with interest rates if we don't get our debt under control. With 40 cents of every dollar now going to pay for our debt, we need to balance the budget, reverse our spending binge and reform our tax system to jumpstart the economy in the way President Reagan did in the 1980s."
"It is disappointing that the only real plan to confront our spending and debt crisis offered in either house of Congress fell short by four votes and on a party line vote with all Republicans supporting a balanced budget amendment to our constitution and all Democrats opposing," said Risch. "The American people have said loud and clear they want the government to do business like they do, with a balanced budget. Today, Congress had the chance to finally do that and they failed the American people."