When U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., joined Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., in co-sponsoring a balanced budget amendment, not only did he become the first Democrat in years to back such a measure intended to force government accountability, he ended up on the same side politically as Colorado’s unsuccessful Republican Senate candidate of 2010 – Ken Buck.
That Udall’s bipartisan proposal shows the confluence of many strains of “deficit hawk” rhetoric is not surprising after the results of the 2010 elections. Though Udall does not face reelection until 2014, he seems keenly aware of the political forces at play, and harkens back to his brand of Colorado “common sense” to push the amendment forward:
“I’m proud to join my colleague – senior Senator from Alabama – in introducing legislation today that would amend the United States Constitution to require a balanced budget. The idea of requiring a balanced Federal budget seems like common sense to most Americans.”
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The Shelby-Udall balanced budget amendment would create a requirement that federal spending cannot exceed revenue, and that total expenditures of the government can not exceed 20 percent of the previous year’s gross national product.
The plan in question makes allowances for overriding the amendment in national emergency situations or when both houses of Congress vote more than three-fifths to make an exception to that year’s budget.
Buck’s efforts through the newly launched Balance-America.org appear focused on garnering just the right blend of support for a balanced budget amendment that would enable a proposal like Udall’s to gain the three-fourths of states necessary to ratify the Constitutional amendment:
“In keeping with Ken’s devotion to grassroots solutions for our nation’s problems, Balance America will seek to research, organize, train, and educate grassroots citizens in all 50 states about the importance of a Federal Balanced Budget Amendment,” the website states and goes on to quote Buck…
“After the last election, many DC politicians have finally jumped on the Balanced Budget Amendment bandwagon, and that’s great. We’ll take it. But the solutions to our nation’s problems don’t come from Washington, they come from hard-working, grassroots Americans working to tackle the mess DC has created,” stated Buck.
Buck noticeably took a shot at the “bandwagon” support for an idea that he and other “Tea Party” candidates took heat for in 2010 (like ending earmarks, another Buck plank that the Senate has already enacted).
Will Udall and Buck join forces to become a Colorado dynamic duo of federal deficit reduction via a balanced budget amendment?