Sen. Hatch pushing balanced-budget amendment in Senate

Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) penned a letter to their Senate colleagues Tuesday pitching a constitutional balanced-budget amendment.

"The American people are demanding action from Washington to get our fiscal house in order once and for all," part of the letter read. "They don't want any more empty rhetoric or excuses."

Six Senate Republicans have already signed on as co-sponsors of the legislation — Sens. Saxby Chabliss (Ga.), Jim DeMint (S.C.), Olympia Snowe (Maine), John Ensign (Nev.), Michael Enzi (Wy.) and David Vitter (La.) — with more expected. 

Along with Hatch, Snowe and Ensign are up for reelection in 2012. Hatch and Snowe are rumored Tea Party targets and Ensign could also face a Republican primary if he opts to seek another term.

Hatch and Cornyn are looking to roll out the balanced budget amendment effort the week the Senate returns.

Republicans in the House, meanwhile, are hopeful there is renewed momentum for a balanced-budget amendment introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.). 

One of the measure's co-sponsors in the House is Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), a rumored primary challenger to Hatch in 2012.