Sen. Lee was pimping his Balanced Budget Amendment. It’s still being drafted, but has the following provisions:
- The budget must be drafted as balanced each year;
- Spending cannot exceed 18% of GDP for the previous year; and
- A 2/3s majority of both chambers needs to approve any deficit spending, any increase in the debt ceiling, and any increase in government revenue (taxes, etc.)
Once ratified by the states – first hurdle is 2/3s of the Senate and House, and then out to 3/4s for the state legislatures – the phase-in period is two years. He’s not looking to bypass Congress through a state-called Constitutional Convention. He believes that if enough momentum is generated that the threat of it may be enough.
Over the next few weeks he’ll work out differences with Sen. Hatch’s competing Amendment, which Sen. Lee maintains is too easy to bypass with a simple-majority suspension vote.
He had no answer for how – to grab an example – the $852 billion deficit forecast for FY14 would be achieved. “Good question,” he said. Um, ouch?
Expect to have a Republican-pushed Balanced Budget Amendment in the Congress perhaps as early as the end of March.
If you’re interested, here’s another interview with then-candidate Lee from CPAC last here.