By a 234-190 vote, the U.S. House passed the “Cap, Cut and Balance Act” Tuesday.
The measure calls for a $1.5 trillion cut in this year’s deficit and caps federal spending at 24 percent of the gross domestic product. The bill also bars any increase in the nation’s debt ceiling unless Congress first sends a balanced budget constitutional amendment to the states for ratification.
One of the crafters of the legislation is Fifth District Congressman Mick Mulvaney. In an interview Monday with Columbia affiliate WVOC, Mulvaney expressed doubts that the measure will pass the Democratic-controlled Senate, but he is hopeful that it will create a dialogue focusing on the country spending within its means.
Mulvaney says any substantive discussion about balancing the budget must start with a system of cost-benefit analysis.
The Republican is one of a large contingent of GOP freshmen that rode the wave of the Tea Party movement into Washington during the 2010 election. Mulvaney says conservative Republicans, with a nudge from fellow GOP freshmen, continue to be focused on getting Washington to change the way it does business. Mulvaney says a balanced budget amendment would jump-start the process.
Mulvaney says a frank discussion on creating a balanced budget would be political advantageous in his opinion for Republicans.
However, the third-ranking Democrat in the U.S. House, Sixth District Congressman James Clyburn voted against “Cut, Cap and Balance.
Clyburn issued a statement prior to Tuesday’s vote. “I oppose this so-called ‘cut, cap and balance’ bill because it will cut Medicare, cap Social Security and balance the budget on the backs of Medicaid recipients and middle-income families while protecting fat cats, big oil loopholes, and subsidies for corporations that ship American jobs overseas.”