Cochran – Senate missed golden opportunity to balance budget

The Senate on Wednesday roundly rejected a pair of balanced-budget amendments — one from each party — in a vote set forth in this past summer’s debt-reduction deal.

Senators voted down the Democratic plan 79-21, with only one Republican —Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada — supporting the measure. The Republican version was defeated along a party-line vote of 53-47. The amendments needed a two-thirds majority to pass, and neither came close.

Sen. Thad Cochran, Mississippi Republican, said Congress missed a golden opportunity to help lower the nation’s $15 trillion debt.

“A responsible balanced-budget amendment would have given the Congress, and the American people, an ongoing framework for making the choices that need to be made to keep the country from a future of perpetual red ink,” said Mr. Cochran, who supported the GOP plan but voted against the Democratic version.

Washington Times
12/14/11