Dem: Spending-cap bill 'could cost me my Senate seat' in 2012

Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillA Cabinet position for Petraeus; disciplinary actions for Broadwell after affair Defense bill tackles retaliation against military sex assault victims Red-state Dems face tough votes on Trump picks MORE (D-Mo.) on Tuesday introduced legislation meant to cap Washington spending that she said could lead to her defeat in 2012.

McCaskill, a freshman senator who faces a tough reelection, is co-sponsoring legislation with Sen. Bob CorkerBob CorkerAP: Huntsman among secretary of State possibilities Scarborough: Giuliani would be 'disastrous' pick for State NeverTrumpers change their tune MORE (R-Tenn.) that would force the government to hold spending at 20.6 percent of the nation’s GDP.

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That would mean huge, and likely unpopular, budget cuts, as current federal spending stands at 24.7 percent of GDP. But McCaskill said she’s willing to lose her election if it means the legislation will be approved.

“If this bill is distorted and twisted, it could cost me my Senate seat, but it’s a price I am willing to pay,” McCaskill said in a floor speech supporting the bill on Tuesday.

“It is a price I am willing to pay for my country, and more importantly, it is a price I am willing to pay for my grandchildren.”

Voters unhappy with the economy and federal spending handed the House to Republicans last fall, and lawmakers in both parties are determined to cut the budget. The Congressional Budget Office last week projected a $1.5 trillion deficit for the current fiscal year.

Still, getting the federal budget under control is likely to mean steep cuts in spending and changes to Medicare and Social Security, which could put lawmakers in danger of losing their seats.

A SurveyUSA poll last week found McCaskill only four points ahead of Republican Rep. Sam GravesSam Graves19 pledged Missouri delegates go to Trump House GOPer eyes McCaskill challenge 5B highway bill limits teen truckers MORE, who is mulling a run for the seat. The poll was commissioned by a firm that works for Graves.

President Obama narrowly lost Missouri to GOP Sen. John McCainJohn McCainA Cabinet position for Petraeus; disciplinary actions for Broadwell after affair Meet Trump’s ‘mad dog’ for the Pentagon Wrestling mogul McMahon could slam her way into Trump administration MORE (Ariz.) in the 2008 election.

The McCaskill-Corker bill would force the government to cap its spending at a declining percentage of GDP over the next 10 years by implementing a “glide path” over the next decade that would cap all spending.

If Congress fails to stay within its spending goals, the legislation directs the Office of Management and Budget to make cuts to reach the targeted levels.

Congress could only approve spending above the ceiling set by the bill with a two-thirds vote in both chambers.

“Getting control of spending is very, very hard, but we have to do it and we have to do it now,” McCaskill said in her floor speech. “But this bill is possible. It tells the American people that our spending is going to be capped at a certain amount of economic spending in this country.”

The Commitment to American Prosperity Act, or the “CAP Act,” is co-sponsored by GOP Sens. Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderKey Republicans ask Trump to keep on NIH director McConnell tees up medical cures bill Speculation and starting points: accreditation, a new administration and a new Congress MORE (Tenn.), Richard BurrRichard BurrDems pledge to fight Sessions nomination Battle for the Senate: Top of ticket dominates Shakeup on Senate Intel: Warner becomes top Dem MORE (N.C.), Saxby ChamblissSaxby ChamblissWyden hammers CIA chief over Senate spying Cruz is a liability Inside Paul Ryan’s brain trust MORE (Ga.), James InhofeJames InhofeFeds to consider renewed protections for bird species Trump’s nominees may face roadblocks ‘Covert propaganda’ in federal rulemaking MORE (Okla.), Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonGOP senators wary of nuking filibuster SENATE: Republicans defy odds to keep majority A banner year for U.S. leadership on aid effectiveness MORE (Ga.), Mark KirkMark KirkBattle for the Senate: Top of ticket dominates The untold stories of the 2016 battle for the Senate Women make little gains in new Congress MORE (Ill.), and McCain.