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

Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillFive things to watch for in Mnuchin hearing Senators introduce dueling miners bills GOP must avoid Dems' mistakes when replacing ObamaCare 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 CorkerHaley ready for UN role despite dearth of foreign policy experience Top Dem: Don’t bring Tillerson floor vote if he doesn’t pass committee Trump’s UN pick threads needle on Russia, NATO MORE (R-Tenn.) that would force the government to hold spending at 20.6 percent of the nation’s GDP.

ADVERTISEMENT
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 GravesTrump’s infrastructure plan: What we know Why Republicans took aim at an ethics watchdog 19 pledged Missouri delegates go to Trump 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 McCainTillerson met with top State official: report McCain ‘very concerned’ about Tillerson US democracy is in crisis. Trump voters must help us get past it. 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 AlexanderCheney calls for DeVos to be confirmed ‘promptly’ With Trump pick Tom Price, cool heads can prevail on health reform Senate to vote Friday on Trump's defense picks MORE (Tenn.), Richard BurrRichard BurrSenators introduce dueling miners bills Trump education pick to face Warren, Sanders Senate Intel panel to probe Trump team's ties to Russia 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 InhofeSenate teeing up Mattis waiver Lawmakers play nice at Russia hacking hearing Senate chairman meets Trump’s EPA nominee MORE (Okla.), Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonTrump, Democrats can bridge divide to make college more affordable Trump picks Obama nominee for VA secretary Five races to watch in 2017 MORE (Ga.), Mark KirkMark KirkGOP senator: Don't link Planned Parenthood to ObamaCare repeal Republicans add three to Banking Committee Juan Williams: McConnell won big by blocking Obama MORE (Ill.), and McCain.