1:45pm

Thu July 14, 2011
All Politics are Local

McConnell Pushes Amendment

Speaking on the Senate floor Thursday, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., delivered an ultimatum to congressional leaders and the American people when he stressed the far-fetched idea to pass a “Balanced Budget Amendment” to the U.S. Constitution in order to address the nation’s growing debt. The White House has already rejected the Tea Party-backed idea as part of debt ceiling negotiations, but McConnell pitched it as the only way to ensure the federal government has fiscal order.

“It’s time to make it clear to the American people where the two parties stand in this debate. Either you’re with the president and his vision of a government that continues to live beyond its means or you’re with those of us who believe Washington needs some strong medicine,” he said. “Either you want to simply borrow and spend our nation into oblivion or you want to get our house fiscal in order. And the single most effective way to do that is with a balanced budget amendment.”

Earlier this week, McConnell offered a debt proposal that would allow President Barack Obama the power to request debt increases of up to $2.5 trillion in three separate installments over the next year as long as they’re coupled with larger spending cuts.

The GOP leader said the plan was introduced as a “back-up” plan to avoid the first-ever government default before the August 2 deadline, but fellow Republicans ripped the idea and it appears McConnell has switched his focus.

Asked about the “McConnell Plan” Thursday morning, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said Kentucky’s senior Senator has “lost his mind.”