Rubio and Buck: Balanced budget amendment comes first

Two leading Senate candidates, backed by the tea party movement, are hoping to capitalize on GOP failures by campaigning on the promise to push for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution as one of their first priorities if elected.

Marco Rubio, who is running against Gov. Charlie Crist (I-Fla.) and Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.) for his state’s Senate seat, said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” with Bob Schieffer said that Republicans need to be held just as accountable as Democrats for their failed promises this November.

“The Republicans…didn’t fulfill some of the promises they had made in [1994] when they were elected,” said Rubio. “Things like a balanced budget amendment. Things like abandoning earmarks. Things like term limits.”

“If you say you’re going to do it and you get elected, then do it. There’s got to be some level of accountability,” he said. “[Politicians] think they can say anything because once they get elected they think they’ll raise so much money they can make you forget.”

Ken Buck, the Republican party’s candidate for Colorado’s Senate race against Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), echoed Rubio’s sentiments, telling Schieffer that if elected, Tea Party candidates such as himself could be expected to break from the normal tactics of political business on Capitol Hill by not aligning with either major party line.

“We recognize the frustration from both what the Republican Party and the Democratic Party have been doing in Washington D.C.,” he said.

“And we’re going their not to be part of the establishment, no to be part of what we consider the problem of Washington D.C. but to get there and to reduce spending and to promote ideas, like a balanced budget amendment.”

In 1995, after the Republicans swept control of both the House and the Senate, a balanced budget amendment, which would bar the federal government from spending more than it collects in revenues each year, came within one vote of passing Congress.

Most recently, Republicans, like Sens. Jim DeMint (S.C.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), John McCain (Ariz.) and Tom Coburn (Okla.), have re-launched efforts to tout the proposal as a way to rein in government spending.

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