House GOP sets vote on balanced budget amendment

November 10, 2011 - 12:00 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — House GOP leaders have scheduled a vote next week on a constitutional amendment that would require a balanced federal budget.

But they're shelving a version of the amendment that tea party activists favored. Instead, the Republican leaders are pressing for Democratic votes in hopes of actually passing the measure — that's what happened in 1995, with lots of help from Democrats.

GOP conservatives had rallied behind a version of the balanced budget amendment that would put a tight cap on the federal budget and require a two-thirds vote in Congress to raise taxes.

To amend the Constitution, it takes a two-thirds vote in both House and Senate and ratification by 38 states. At least 48 Democratic votes are needed to get the required two-thirds margin in the GOP-controlled House.