House votes down balanced budget amendment

WASHINGTON — The House failed to pass a Constitutional balanced budget amendment on Friday.

Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson, a member of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition of Democrats, joined Minnesota Republicans John Kline, Michele Bachmann, Erik Paulsen and Chip Cravaack in supporting the measure. The rest of the delegation voted no.

The amendment received support from a majority of the House, but it required 290 votes to pass. The final vote was 261-165.

Congress was required to vote on the amendment as part of the debt limit deal it approved this summer. The amendment up for a vote today mandates a balanced federal budget and requires a three-fifths majority in order to approve future borrowing. The amendment’s provisions could be waived in a time of war.

Only four Republicans voted against a bill, mostly on the grounds that it didn’t go far enough in curbing spending. Only 25 Democrats backed the measure.

In a separate vote, lawmakers approved the rules for debate on Kline’s bill aimed at curbing a recent ruling of the National Labor Relations Board. The House is expected to pass that legislation after next week’s Thanksgiving recess.

Devin Henry can be reached at dhenry@minnpost.com.

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