Congressional leaders want to require a balanced budget
Perhaps as an antidote to his decision not to sign the "Cut, Cap, and Balance" pledge circulating among Republicans in both chambers, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) teamed with the congressman leading the charge in a USA Today op-ed to advocate support of the balanced budget amendment, which the House will vote on Wednesday.
A Closer Look at Bachmann's Past as a Tax Lawyer
How Baseball Explains the Debt Ceiling
Conceding the historical unlikelihood of successfully amending the 223-year-old Constitution (there have only been 27 amendments), Cantor and Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) argue that because amendments require passage of two-thirds of the House and Senate and three-fourths of the states, "successful amendments tend to stay in place. Only one, Prohibition, has ever been repealed.
"The moral of this story is clear," they write. "Anyone who hopes to rein in the debt and make Washington live within its means should support amending the Constitution to require a balanced budget."
Though Jordan has emerged at the front line of the "Cut, Cap, and Balance" pledge -- which holds signers to opposing any debt-ceiling increase unless it is accompanied by "substantial" spending cuts, federal spending caps, and a balanced budget amendment -- Cantor and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) have refused to sign for fear of being bound by either side's conditions.