Key GOP Committee Chair To Vote Against Balanced Budget Amendment

Rep. David Dreier (R-CA), chair of the powerful House Rules Committee, announced today that he would vote against the proposed Balanced Budget Amendment. Although Dreier supported a very similar amendment in 1995, he now believes that decision was an error. “I was wrong,” Dreier said. “Two short years later, we balanced the federal budget. . . . [W]e were able to balance the federal budget without touching that inspired document, the U.S. Constitution.” Dreier is likely to retire after this term due to a redistricting map that makes his reelection bid much more difficult. Regardless of why he decided to break with his party on this vote, however, he made the correct decision. Balancing the budget immediately through spending cuts, as congressional Republicans suggest, “would throw about 15 million more people out of work, double the unemployment rate from 9 percent to approximately 18 percent, and cause the economy to shrink by about 17 percent instead of growing by an expected 2 percent.”