The Cut Cap and Balance Act took the three elements of the original plan and pledge and turned them into a specific piece of legislation, but with a unique twist. Instead of requiring that all three pre-conditions be met before voting on a debt ceiling increase, this new bill actually includes the $2.4 trillion debt ceiling increase that Democrats want, but conditions it on Congressional passage of the Balanced Budget Amendment. The Cut Cap and Balance Act would only require simple majorities to pass, not two-thirds (although it might require 60 votes in the Senate). Once passed, the pre-approved debt ceiling increase would sit there like a ripe plum, [PR1] ready for the plucking but inaccessible, until the Balanced Budget Amendment is passed. This would give Democrats an incentive to support the BBA they now do not have, in spite of overwhelming public support for it. And it would give Republicans the holy grail of fiscal responsibility, a strong Balanced Budget Amendment that cannot be easily watered down by successive Congresses the way that a package of budget and program cuts can be diluted.
Voters, whether Republican, Independent or Democrat, are tired of accounting tricks and typical Washington deals. They understand that the solution, the real solution, is a simple one: to forcibly change the way Congress does its business.
The Cut Cap and Balance Act is such a solution.
It has already garnered more than thirty co-sponsors in the Senate, and is expected to be introduced in the House on Friday.
It’s what America wants and, more important, it’s what America needs, because it is the only plan that puts unsustainable spending and borrowing on a path to sustainability.
That is what the financial markets – and the voting public – demand, and rightly so.