By Alexander Bolton - 06/22/11 04:40 PM EDT
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.
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 Graham (S.C.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Mike Lee (Utah), Marco Rubio (Fla.), James Inhofe (Okla.), Jerry Moran (Kan.), Pat Toomey (Pa.), David Vitter (La.), and Orrin Hatch (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.