Grassley: Balanced-budget amendment won't clear Congress this year

Forty-seven Senate Republicans have already signed on as co-sponsors to at least one version of the balanced-budget amendment, but 67 are required for it to clear the upper chamber. 

Grassley predicted that at least a few Democrats will join Republicans in supporting it when it comes up for a vote later this year. 

“We’ll get quite a few votes out of the other political party, but my guess is they’re going to see that we don’t get 67,” said Grassley.

Grassley also noted that the legislation would have to be crafted carefully as several states that have balanced-budget mandates in their own constitutions have still managed to run in the red through accounting maneuvers. 

“It’s pretty hard to write a federal constitutional amendment that won’t lend itself to that sort of game-playing 10 to 15 years down the road,” said Grassley. “I’m still convinced that we’re better with one [balanced-budget amendment] than without one.”