House To Debate Balanced Budget Amendment
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
On Capitol Hill, there is little sign that the supercommittee responsible for dramatically reducing the deficit will reach a deal by its deadline. That deadline is just one week and one day away. The 12 members of the bipartisan committee need to agree on a 10-year plan that cuts deficits by more than a trillion dollars. The supercommittee was created in a deal that upped the debt ceiling last summer. That deal also calls for both chambers of Congress to vote by the end of this year on a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, and the House takes that up this week. NPR's David Welna has more.
DAVID WELNA, BYLINE: Congress has a long history of getting things done only at the last moment possible. Still, the task facing the 12 members of the debt reduction supercommittee - finding a combination of spending cuts and increased revenues that can also pass Congress - is unusually daunting. Little progress has been reported. Meanwhile, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor says he and his fellow Republicans will hold a vote this week on a scaled back proposal for a balanced budget amendment, or BBA.
REPRESENTATIVE ERIC CANTOR: I will be voting for it because I do think ultimately the biggest check we can put on the government's unbridled spending is a forced balanced budget amendment like most states have.
WELNA: The House BBA bill no longer requires a two-thirds super-majority to raise taxes. Still, it's unlikely the measure will win two-thirds approval needed in the House, and a tougher version in the Senate stands even less of a chance. David Welna, NPR News, the Capitol.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.