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

Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillBill would target retaliation against military sexual assault victims Senate Dem takes on drugmaker: ‘It’s time to slaughter some hogs’ Week ahead: Drug pricing back in focus 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 CorkerTrump seeks approval from foreign policy experts, but hits snags The Trail 2016: The establishment comes around GOP warms to Trump 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 GravesHouse GOPer eyes McCaskill challenge 5B highway bill limits teen truckers House appoints negotiators for highway bill talks with Senate 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 McCainExperts warn weapons gap is shrinking between US, Russia and China McCain delivers his own foreign policy speech Republicans who vow to never back Trump 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 AlexanderDemocrats block energy spending bill over Iran amendment Overnight Finance: Puerto Rico pressure builds; Big tariff vote Wednesday Senate votes to increase wind energy funding MORE (Tenn.), Richard BurrRichard BurrThe Trail 2016: The establishment comes around Intel leaders push controversial encryption draft Moulitsas: 2016 dim for GOP 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 InhofeThree more Republican senators to meet with Supreme Court nominee Senate unveils B waterways bill with aid for Flint 0 million Flint aid package included in water bill MORE (Okla.), Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonSenate approves new Veterans Affairs watchdog Overnight Regulation: Republicans move to block financial adviser rule Senate Republicans move to block financial adviser rule MORE (Ga.), Mark KirkMark KirkElizabeth Warren stumps, raises funds for Duckworth GOP blocks slate of Obama judicial nominees Durbin: McConnell should move criminal justice bill next month MORE (Ill.), and McCain.

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