If the Senate GOP gets its way, an unbalanced budget will be illegal. Each of the chamber’s 47 Republicans has backed a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would require a balanced federal budget. Similar efforts have failed many times before, and this one faces long odds as well: To amend the Constitution, the bill must be approved by two-thirds of the House and Senate, as well as three-quarters of the states—heights of bipartisanship that are rarely scaled these days. Also tucked into the amendment is a proposal that any tax increases be required to have a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate. Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is denying rumors that Republicans have agreed to a budget deal to avoid shutting down the government.
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