Heitkamp backs balanced budget amendment with exceptions

2012-03-19T16:53:00Z Heitkamp backs balanced budget amendment with exceptionsBy NICK SMITH | Bismarck Tribune Bismarck Tribune

U.S. Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp said Monday she’s in favor of Congress passing a balanced budget amendment, with exceptions in the case of war spending and obligations for Social Security and Medicare.

“I’ve been persuaded in the last year with the failure of the Simpson-Bowles Commission,” Heitkamp said in an afternoon conference call.

Heitkamp, the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party candidate, referred to the inability to come to a consensus on the budget following the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, commonly known as the Simpson-Bowles Commission, as well as the work of the super committee appointed by President Barack Obama as “colossal failures.”

She said these failures to act show a lack of willingness to get serious about tackling the federal budget deficit, saying it’s become obvious that the problem isn’t going to be solved by anything else than a constitutional amendment.

“They’ve got to get it done. I am going to be supporting a balanced budget amendment,” Heitkamp said.

Heitkamp explained that there needs to be flexibility in Congress’ ability to appropriate funding for war if necessary. She added that Social Security and Medicare are items that must be addressed separately and must not be subject to potentially serious cuts to benefits in the effort to balance the budget.

Heitkamp’s support is for a balanced budget amendment modeled on a proposed amendment by Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., that failed in December by a 21-79 vote. Udall’s proposed amendment required an annual balanced budget unless there were a three-fifths vote of the House and Senate to waive it. Also, it would waive the requirement in time of war, protect cuts to Social Security and ban income tax breaks for people making more than $1 million per year.

Reach Nick Smith at 250-8255 or 223-8482 or at nick.smith@bismarcktribune.com.

Copyright 2015 Bismarck Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(14) Comments

  1. Halatbis
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    Halatbis - March 21, 2012 8:24 am
    So, now the Liberals are calling for their view of moderation: "vote for the person! Not the Party".

    That sounds so wonderfully moderate! But this election is really about how one Party governs versus the other. The Dem's are the big government party who will take from one person and give another whom they say is more deserving. The more deserving are people who will vote for Democrats!

    The election is about electing people to Washington who will rein in the spending of government, the growth of government, and the so-called handouts. Our federal government is broke---most of the States are broke---the disaster is coming as we see in Europe!

    The Republican Party and the Tea Party people are the people who will try to get the economy on track and the spending under control!
    The free lunch is over! The DEms say we will continue spending as usual.
    The Repubs say this must be brought under control to preserve the Nation!
    That is what this election is about!
  2. Rydonn03
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    Rydonn03 - March 20, 2012 9:44 pm
    Dust, that is thee most STUPID comment I have ever seen you post!
  3. DustOff3
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    DustOff3 - March 20, 2012 8:50 am
    Libs, I've been around these blogs for more than a day and I ain't never seen a lib even remotely call for a balanced budget before? Have you libs got religion!!!!! That, a balance budget, including every pesos, is one thing I will support, libs...way to go. I knew you would see the light!!!
  4. LiberalConservative
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    LiberalConservative - March 20, 2012 8:29 am
    Mike R said: "Voting party lines is for the uninformed and misguided, Republican or Democrat."

    AMEN! I could not agree more - people need to start researching the people running and forget about the letter after their name. George Washington was right - political parties will be the ruin of this country.
  5. Rydonn03
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    Rydonn03 - March 20, 2012 8:28 am
    Go Heidi ~ say what you want, but she can cleanup on ol' Ricky Rich!!!
  6. ing1947
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    ing1947 - March 20, 2012 7:28 am
    Heidi can say anything and back everything, but in the end a vote for her is a vote for Obama. If you want 4 more years of Obama then vote for Heidi if you don't then vote against her, its pretty simple.
  7. Mike R
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    Mike R - March 20, 2012 12:17 am
    Voting party lines is for the uninformed and misguided, Republican or Democrat.
  8. Mike R
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    Mike R - March 20, 2012 12:15 am
    What has Heidi accomplished to prove she is the best candidate?
    Not offices or positions she has held, promises made or the like but actual, verifiable accomplishments.
  9. Hobson'sChoice
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    Hobson'sChoice - March 19, 2012 8:02 pm
    Well bladerunner, I guess I am one of those lefty stupid people, as you so inarticulately and muddlingly put it, but none-the-less I will be voting for Heidi Heitkamp this coming November.

    You and your Teapublican friends can vote for the clone of Mitt Romney or whoever gets the nomination by our states Republican Party and then just pray for the best to happen.
  10. yankee l
    Report Abuse
    yankee l - March 19, 2012 7:14 pm
    I remember when Conrad first ran for the Senate, he promised that if the budget was not balanced in his first term he would not run again??????? Hello/////////
  11. Report Abuse
    - March 19, 2012 6:34 pm
    If a balanced budget amendment becomes part of the constitution, people will no longer be able to turn to Congress to do anything when the economy is in a downturn. I am not saying whether such an amendment is good or bad, just that if people cannot turn to their elected representatives in Washington for help during recessions or depressions, where will they turn? Even with the Heitkamp qualifications, Congress will have its hands tied and will be completely impotent and we had better be prepared for the results.
  12. bladerunner
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    bladerunner - March 19, 2012 6:13 pm
    I agree, she is a good person. Many positives with working at the coal plants. Obama killing the keystone, cost us alot of money. Our ND Senators made it a point that our oil feilds would be included. What happen, alot of far left stupid people. Obama lies more than he tells the truth. You left winger just drink it up.
  13. taxpayer
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    taxpayer - March 19, 2012 5:48 pm
    A balanced budget ammendment to the Constitution ? What a novel concept. Congress in their infinite wisdom has used the cash flow from Social Security for many years to try to make the deficets look better than they were. Now Heidi says they should have it both ways. Only way her idea works for me is if the Social Security dollars are first of all, repaid to the trust fund, and secondly new dollars cannot ever be taken from the Social Security trust. I might consider voting for her if she makes that pledge.
  14. StopTheHate
    Report Abuse
    StopTheHate - March 19, 2012 5:40 pm
    YES, she IS a conservative!! What will libs do now??
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