Ten GOP sens. vow no debt-ceiling hike without balanced-budget amendment

Ten Republican senators have pledged their opposition to increasing the national debt limit unless Congresses passes a constitutional amendment to balance the budget.
 
It’s a high hurdle because two-thirds of both chambers must approve constitutional amendments. The pledge will split the Senate Republican conference and put pressure on other lawmakers to oppose legislation to increase national borrowing authority.
 

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The 10 GOP senators have signed a document similar to the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which anti-tax activists have used to block tax increase.
 
The document states the signatories will oppose the debt increase unless three conditions are met: substantial cuts in spending that will reduce the deficit, the implementation of enforceable spending caps and passage of a balanced budget amendment.
 
The pledge specifies that the amendment must include spending limits and a supermajority requirement for raising taxes.
 
The signatories include Sens. Jim DeMint (S.C.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP and Dems bitterly divided by immigration We are running out of time to protect Dreamers US trade deficit rises on record imports from China MORE (S.C.), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulLexington mayor launches bid for Congress Trump-free Kennedy Center Honors avoids politics Meet the Iran hawk who could be Trump's next secretary of State MORE (Ky.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSupreme Court takes on same-sex wedding cake case House approves motion to go to tax conference — with drama Trump really will shrink government, starting with national monuments MORE (Utah), Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRyan pledges 'entitlement reform' in 2018 Richard Gere welcomes lawmakers' words of support for Tibet Dem lawmaker gives McConnell's tax reform op-ed a failing grade MORE (Fla.), James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeGOP senator on backing Moore: ‘It’s a numbers game’ Overnight Energy: Panel advances controversial Trump nominee | Ex-coal boss Blankenship to run for Senate | Dem commissioner joins energy regulator Senate panel advances controversial environmental nominee MORE (Okla.), Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranMcConnell works to salvage tax bill GOP in furious push for tax-reform votes Overnight Tech: Lawmakers want answers on Uber breach | Justices divided in patent case | Tech makes plea for net neutrality on Cyber Monday MORE (Kan.), Pat Toomey (Pa.), David VitterDavid VitterThe Senate 'ethics' committee is a black hole where allegations die Questions loom over Franken ethics probe You're fired! Why it's time to ditch the Fed's community banker seat MORE (La.), and Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchMcConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees Ryan pledges 'entitlement reform' in 2018 Utah governor calls Bannon a 'bigot' after attacks on Romney MORE (Utah), ranking Republican on the Finance Committee.

The lawmakers announced their support for the pledge Wednesday and see it as the beginning of an intense campaign to get a balanced budget amendment enacted. They argue an amendment is the only sure safeguard against the nation racking up huge deficits in the future.
 
A coalition of conservative groups such as Citizens United, Club for Growth, FreedomWorks and Let Freedom Ring support the proposal.
 
Eleven Republicans in the House have also signed it.

Updated at 1:44 p.m.