Press Releases

Republicans Make it Virtually Impossible to Repeal Special Tax Breaks for the Wealthy or Big Oil and Gas Producers, But It Would Allow Congress to Destroy Medicare or Veterans' Hospitals by Simple Majority

Washington, DC, June 15, 2011

Today, House Judiciary Democrats continued to fight back Republican efforts to impose extreme Medicare cuts with a constitutional amendment, in the Committee’s third day-mark up of H.J. Res 1, the Republican balanced budget constitutional amendment. 

H.J. Res. 1 would amend the U.S. Constitution to require a balanced budget and a super majority vote of both houses in order to run a deficit, increase taxes, raise the debt limit, or spend more than 18% of the GDP in any fiscal year.  In order to achieve balance without increasing revenues, it would mandate cuts even more draconian than any considered by the House.

“Today, Republicans chose once again to preserve special tax privileges for the most profitable industries on earth, while eviscerating Social Security, Medicaid, and support for veterans and children, ” said Conyers.

“This measure would inevitably shift the real economic burdens for cutting the federal deficit onto the backs of the States, cities and towns, and onto the backs of our nation’s most vulnerable: the elderly, the young, the disabled.  Republicans make it virtually impossible to repeal special tax breaks for the wealthy or big oil and gas producers, but it would allow Congress to destroy Medicare or veterans’ hospitals by simple majority.” 

“This would also be the first time in our nation’s history that we amended the constitution to allow congress to do something it already has the power to do – balance the budget.”

H.J. Res 1 passed by a roll call vote of 20-12.