As the Friday deadline neared, members of Congress agreed on a temporary two-week extension of federal spending in order to keep the wheels of government churning and thus averting– at least temporarily– a government shutdown.
A few hours after the Senate’s bipartisan 91-6 vote in favor of the stopgap measure, President Obama signed the extension. Prior to Wednesday’s Senate vote, South Carolina U.S. Senator Jim DeMint spoke with Columbia affiliate WVOC about the budget fight. DeMint labeled a temporary government shutdown “an overrated problem.”
The temporary extension trims $4 billion off projected spending between now and March 18.
Republicans and Democrats continue to spar on budget cuts and what programs will be affected. DeMint says Republicans don’t want to be blackmailed into spending more than the country can afford because of the threat of any imminent government shutdown.
DeMint says he will be pushing for a revival of a balanced budget constitutional amendment. He says the passage of such an amendment is not just a pipe dream as some naysayers may think.
DeMint anticipates the vote on the debt ceiling is probably about a month away. He says that’s when he wants both sides to have the balanced budget debate .
DeMint says an effective balanced budget measure would have to include one main stipulation.