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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dreier on a Balanced Budget Amendment

It is very rare for a member of Congress to announce an explicit change of mind. Rep. David Dreier did so Thursday on the proposed balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution. Peter Kasperowicz writes at The Hill:

House Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-Calif.) said he would vote against the balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution later this week, a high-profile Republican defection that will make it one vote harder for the GOP to find the 290 votes needed to pass their amendment on Friday.

Speaking on the House floor, Dreier said that while he supported an amendment in 1995, he has changed his mind, and now believes that Congress does not need to amend the Constitution in order to balance the budget. He said his 1995 vote was based on the belief that an amendment was the only way to balance the budget.

"I was wrong," Dreier said. "Two short years later, we balanced the federal budget. We balanced the federal budget and that went on for several years.

"What I found … is that we were able to balance the federal budget without touching that inspired document, the U.S. Constitution," said Dreier, a 16-term congressman and member of the GOP leadership who might be serving his final term.