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

Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillSenators question need for HHS cyber office Overnight Cybersecurity: Obama DHS chief defends Russian hack response | Trump huddles on grid security | Lawmakers warned about cyber threat to election systems We must protect our most vulnerable from financial fraudsters 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 CorkerPolicymakers forget duty to protect taxpayers from financial failures Overnight Defense: GOP chairman moves ahead with 0B defense bill | Lawmakers eye 355 ship navy | Senate panel seeks answers on shoot down of Syrian jet Overnight Cybersecurity: Trump tweetstorm on Russia probe | White House reportedly pushing to weaken sanctions bill | Podesta to testify before House Intel 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 GravesProposal to privatize air traffic control struggles to win over critics House panel unveils bill to spin off air traffic control House lawmakers push for Highway Trust Fund fix 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 McCainFrustrated Dems say Obama botched Russia response Coats: Trump seemed obsessed with Russia probe The Hill's Whip List: Senate ObamaCare repeal bill 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.”

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