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Republican leaders propose a balanced budget amendment. Fox News accurately assesses the setup: Balanced budget, line-item veto; '80s ideas with less chance of success than 'Roseanne'.

“Roseanne” is back on the air with smashing ratings. “Ready Player One,” is on the big screen. It’s an homage to ‘80s video games. 1980s cinema virtuoso sprinkles the film with Easter eggs from the decade. And the Republican Party is back touting a constitutional balanced budget amendment and a line-item veto for the president of the United States.

All that’s missing are Bonnie Tyler and Alf.

President Trump was apoplectic when Congress delivered a $1.3 trillion spending bill to his desk to avert a government shutdown last week. He immediately called for a balanced budget amendment and a line-item veto.

Constitutional Hurdle

A balanced budget amendment and a line-item veto voth would require an amendment to the constitution.

Article Five of the United States Constitution describes the procedure.

  1. It takes a two-thirds vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate or a convention of states called for by two-thirds of the state legislatures to propose an amendment.
  2. Then to become part of the Constitution, the amendment must be ratified by either the legislatures of three-quarters of the states or state ratifying conventions in three-quarters of the states.


It would take years, if not decades, before such an amendment could pass. Never is more likely.


It does not take a two-thirds majority to pass a bill, it only takes the backbone of a simple majority.

Hypocrites propose something something that ultimately takes 75% approval when 50% is doable anytime one party is in control of the House, Senate, and White House.


Anyone proposing a balanced budget who also voted for this $1.3 trillion budget boondoggle is both a hypocrite and a liar.

Republicans do not want a balanced budget. If they did, we would have one.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock