Senate rejects Cut, Cap and Balance as debt negotiations continue
By Sara Wyant
© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc
WASHINGTON, July 22 - Voting along party lines, the U.S. Senate voted 51-46 to kill the House Republicans "Cut, Cap and Balance" legislation, a bill that cleared the House Tuesday by a 234-190 margin.
The vote comes as negotiations continue between President Barack Obama and House GOP leaders on a deal to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling and cut spending, but members of the president's own party seem to be balking at a potential compromise.
Majority Leader Harry Reid predicted that the symbolic vote Friday morning didn't “have one chance in a million of passing in the Senate.” He called the legislation “very, very bad.”
The measure would have cut cdurrent spending by $111 billion in 2012, capped spending over the next decade to 19.9 percent of the country's Gross Domestic Product by 2017 and prohibited more borrowing until Congress passes a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution.
"Cutting spending and balancing the budget is the only way we will get our fiscal house in order," Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., said. "Our financial situation is a mess, and the lack of leadership and commitment to cleaning it up in the Senate and the White House has been exasperating. The seriousness of our budget crisis cannot be overstated, and the Cut, Cap and Balance legislation would ensure a sound future for our children and grandchildren."
Majority Leader Reid said negotiations between the White House and House Speaker John Boehner continue and cancelled all weekend work in the Senate, saying it was no longer necessary because revenue items must originate in the House.
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