GOP Senators: No Debt Hike Without Balanced Budget

Wednesday, 22 Jun 2011 03:34 PM

By Dan Weil

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Many Republicans oppose the idea of raising the debt limit without congressional approval for a constitutional amendment to balance the budget. Now 10 GOP senators have pledged to adhere to that position, The Hill reports.

The 10 include Sens. Jim DeMint and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Mike Lee of Utah, Marco Rubio of Florida, James Inhofe of Oklahoma, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, David Vitter of Louisiana, and Orrin Hatch of Utah, ranking Republican on the Finance Committee.

They have signed a document to formalize their promise. But they face almost certain failure as two-thirds of both the House and Senate must approve constitutional amendments. And their pledge may fracture Senate Republicans on the issue.


To be sure, a coalition of conservative groups supports the idea, including Citizens United, Club for Growth, FreedomWorks, and Let Freedom Ring.


Meanwhile, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., warned Wednesday that a debt ceiling deal being worked out in the talks between congressional leaders and Vice President Joe Biden, may not have enough bite to draw widespread support in the Senate, The Hill reports.

Corker, an influential Republican on financial issues, is concerned that the Biden talks aren’t making much progress and demanded that participants detail their status by the end of next week.

"I'm concerned that the type of deal that they may be trying to seek is not something that many of us in this body would even agree to if they reached it, meaning that it's far more modest than I think most of us have been looking at," Corker said on the Senate floor.

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