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Balanced Budget Amendment Comes To House Floor Tuesday

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The House of Representatives will debate a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution July 19.
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The House of Representatives will debate a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution July 19.

With high level negotiations to raise the debt ceiling stalled, on Tuesday the U.S. House will take up a proposal to constitutionally mandate a balanced federal budget.

Democrats say the measure is all politics, but Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) says lawmakers need outside constraints.

"Congress has not had to figure out priorities and as a result of that they just keep spending," Griffith says. "I think it's important that Congress learn to live within their means just like everyone else does.

"Every business, every household has to figure out how to live within their means, and when we're borrowing roughly 40 cents on every dollar, that's not living within our means," Griffith continues.

Maryland Democrat Dutch Ruppersberger was forced to balance the budget in his past life as a county executive. But he believes that just doesn't make sense on the federal level.

"If you put yourself in a position where the federal government can no more have any money it can be a real serious financial issue," he says.

The balanced budget amendment comes before the full House Tuesday.

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