1:08pm

Fri July 29, 2011
All Politics are Local

Balanced Budget Amendment Added to Bill

The US House and Senate still haven’t reached a deal on how to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, which has some Kentucky lawmakers worried that the nation is headed towards its first default. Kentucky Democratic Congressman Chandler says the far right wing of the Republican Party is to blame for the current impasse. 

“This is a crisis that’s been created by the tea party. And yes we need to deal with the debt in the country - there’s no question about that, but it needs to be done in a right way and it needs to be done in such a way that it doesn’t hurt real people and hurt our economy in the short term,” said Chandler.

Kentucky Republican Hal Rogers agrees critics on the far right of his party are demanding too much.

“Well, it does what we wanted to do: cut spending, pass something that gets us off this box we’re in, reassures the markets. I think it will be good for budgeting as well as getting us on a path toward cutting spending,” said Rogers.

If the nation defaults economists say interest rates could go up and the stock market could dip even lower. Kentucky Republicans say the vote to raise the debt ceiling has finally given their party the leverage to drastically cut federal spending.

Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul is among them.  Paul says the House GOP proposal doesn’t go nearly far enough to get the nation’s fiscal house in order. He says his price to raise the debt ceiling is a Constitutional amendment that requires a balanced budget.

“That’s not significant reform and I think the market place will judge it harshly if that’s all we get.”

The debate over raising the nation’s debt ceiling is causing a lot of Republican infighting. Late last night, House Republican leaders worked frantically to convince conservatives to get on board with their plan to raise the nation’s borrowing limit.  Now, there’s word House Speaker John Boehner has agreed to add a balanced budget amendment to his proposal.  A House vote is expected this afternoon.