Press Releases

Conyers Criticizes Ideologically Extreme “Cut, Cap, and Balance Act”

Washington, DC, July 20, 2011

Today, Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) criticized the Republican “Cut, Cap, and Balance” Act – an ideological assault on our democratic institutions that would eviscerate critical federal programs, including Social Security and Medicare.

“This anti-democratic proposal holds hostage the possibility of increasing the debt ceiling to avoid a disastrous federal default, unless Congress approves a so-called ‘Balanced’ Budget Amendment to the Constitution by two-thirds of the House and Senate,” said Conyers.  “Unfortunately, the purported ‘Balanced’ Budget Amendment would not balance the budget, but would have catastrophic consequences for our country.

“By requiring passage of a ‘Balanced’ Budget Amendment before we can turn to the debt ceiling, ‘Cut, Cap and Balance’undermines the very principles upon which our country was founded.  

“While the ‘Balanced’ Budget Amendment would impose a supermajority requirement to raise taxes, it would require only a simple majority to create tax loopholes for oil companies, mega-corporations and other Republican pet programs.  In its essence, this anti-democratic proposal would enshrine Republican ideology and corporate interests into the constitution. 

“It would also require a balanced budget and a supermajority vote of both houses in order to run a deficit, raise the debt limit, or passa spending plan over 18% of GDP. Federal outlays have not dipped below 18% since the passage of Medicare.  That 18% cap would put immediate pressure on Congress, pitting Medicare and Social Security against all other federal spending.

“Cut, Cap and Balance” would require cuts totaling $111 billion immediately, in the fiscal year starting 73 days from now.  These cuts would cause the loss of roughly 700,000 jobs, in our already weak economy.”