IN-FIGHTING

Bob Corker Slams Republicans for ‘Symbolic’ Balanced-Budget Amendment

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) on Thursday called out his Republican colleagues for floating a balanced-budget amendment after pushing through a $1.3 trillion spending bill last week. Corker, a fiscal hawk who is not running for re-election, dismissed the effort as a face-saving measure for Republicans so that they can run on fiscal conservatism in the midterm elections. “Republicans control the House, Senate and White House. If we were serious about balancing the budget, we would do it. But instead of doing the real work, some will push this symbolic measure so they can feel good when they go home to face voters,” Corker wrote in a tweet. The Republican Study Committee and its chairman, Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.), received assurances from House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) last year that the House would vote on such a proposal, which would require 60 votes in the Senate and support from three-fourths of the states. In private, Corker’s fellow Republicans are also scoffing at the idea. “Republicans are feeling the heat after campaigning on the deficit and the debt, and then literally voting to do the opposite with levels that may surpass the worst of Obama,” a senior GOP aide told The Daily Beast.

—Andrew Desiderio

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