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Posted at 1:57 PM ET, 02/10/2011

McDonnell wants General Assembly to endorse federal balanced budget amendment

By Rosalind S. Helderman
Rosalind S. Helderman

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) is asking the General Assembly to approve a resolution that would call for a convention to amend the U.S. Constitution to add a provision requiring Congress adopt a balanced budget.

He says the dangers of the federal debt makes a constitutional amendment a priority.

"The irresponsible rate of spending in Washington will place an undue burden on our children and grandchildren who will pay the price for the reckless actions being taken at the federal level," McDonnell said in a statement. "At the state level, we balance our budgets and it is time for Washington to do the same."

A balanced budget amendment has long been a priority for fiscal conservatives, including activists who work with tea party groups, and McDonnell's high-profile embrace of the issue is a sign that he is taking their issues seriously.

McDonnell said he has asked Del. Ben Cline (R-Lexington) to sponsor the resolution. Although the deadline for legislators to introduce bills this year has passed, the governor is allowed to introduce legislation at any time.

"Families must make tough decisions every day to balance their checkbooks, and states like Virginia have balanced budgets every year--the federal government should be no different," Cline said in a statement.

The GOP-led House of Delegates will likely greet the resolution warmly. The Democratic-held state senate is less likely to adopt the measure.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | February 10, 2011; 1:57 PM ET
Categories:  General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman, State Senate  
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