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Sen. Torricelli To Vote Against Budget Proposal

Senate rejects changes he wanted in the balanced budget amendment

torricelli

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Feb. 26) -- Sen. Robert Torricelli (D-N.J.), who appears to hold the fate of the balanced budget amendment in his hands, announced today he has decided to vote against the Republican proposal.

"The balanced budget amendment has good aspects, but it is simply not good enough in dealing with fundamental constitutional change for our country," Torricelli said.

Earlier today, Torricelli said wanted changes in the GOP proposal before Congress, but his suggestions went down to defeat.

Torricelli had said the proposal needs to be more flexible, with provisions that allow deficit spending in times of war, during recessions, and when long-term capital projects like highways or mass transit system are required.

On the Senate floor, Torricelli said, "I believe the ... amendment would be improved and enhanced by these changes... Indeed, I believe these changes are necessary to responsibly add to the work" of the Constitution's drafters.

Sixty-seven votes are needed for the required two-thirds approval; supporters say they are one vote shy of that, so Torricelli's decision could spell the measure's defeat. If the measure clears Congress, though, it would then goes to the states for ratification.

So far, lawmakers have turned back several proposed changes, including exempting Social Security from the measure. A final vote is expected next week.


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