Weeks After Voting For Ryan Budget, GOP Pushing Balanced Budget Amendment That Would Make Ryan Budget Illegal

Over the next few weeks, you’ll hear a lot from Republicans about the desperate need for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. The Hill reports:

Republican Senators are set to kick off a media blitz to push a balanced budget amendment, beginning Wednesday in D.C. and building up through their July Fourth recess next week, when Members will flood local papers and airwaves with support. […]

More than a dozen lawmakers will hold a news conference Wednesday morning to reintroduce the bill they touted in March, followed by colloquies on the floor Wednesday and Thursday and multiple television appearances throughout the week. … The aides orchestrating the hometown push for the balanced budget amendment said most lawmakers are slotted to write local opinion pieces, discuss the amendment in local TV appearances, and address the topic in town halls and constituent meetings over the holiday break.

But here is something you likely won’t hear during the GOP “media blitz”: The amendment would make the budget authored by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), which nearly every House and Senate Republican just voted for, illegal.

Why? For decades, the Ryan Budget would exceed the spending cap of 18 percent of GDP specified by the Balanced Budget Amendment. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities explains:

Even the House-passed budget plan of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan would not pass muster under the [Balanced Budget Amendment]…Federal spending under the Ryan plan would be close to 20 percent of GDP in 2018 through 2021. And the Congressional Budget Office estimates spending under the Ryan plan would be between 20 and 21 percent of GDP in the decade after that (for example, it would be 20¾ percent of GDP in 2030.)

Here is the chart straight from the CBO report:

In other words, the Republicans are now insisting on a bill that would require budgets far more radical than the Ryan budget that turns Medicare into a voucher program. It suggests that congressional Republicans are far more interested in grandstanding than actually reaching a deal to raise the debt ceiling and avert economic catastrophe.