By DAVID A. LIEB
(COLUMBIA, Mo., AP) — Democratic challenger Jason Kander sided Thursday with Republican U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt by declaring his support for a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Kander said a balanced budget amendment would “help rein in out of control spending and strengthen our economy and security.”
Blunt also has supported and voted for balanced budget amendments. He is one of more than 50 Senate Republicans co-sponsoring a balanced budget amendment that would require a two-thirds vote of both chambers of Congress to raise taxes or exceed spending limits and a three-fifths vote to raise the federal debt limit. The measure would allow Congress to waive the balanced budget requirement in cases of war or military conflict. The measure is pending in a Senate committee.
Kander did not outline a specific balanced budget proposal during a news conference Thursday in Columbia, but he said, “we need to make that sure it does not leave room for legislative gimmicks that allow for a lot of spending to happen without Congress being held accountable.”
Amending the Constitution requires a two-thirds vote in both chambers of Congress and support from three-fourths of the state legislatures. The last time both the House and Senate voted on balanced budget amendments was 2011, but they failed to pass.
Kander questioned Blunt’s commitment to a balanced budget amendment by asserting Blunt had voted for federal budgets in the past that were not balanced.
Blunt campaign spokeswomen Burson Snyder questioned whether Kander, if elected, actually would follow through with his pledge to support a balanced budget amendment.
Blunt and Kander both face Aug. 2 primaries before they could face off in the Nov. 8 general election.
Blunt is seeking his second six-year Senate term after serving 14 years in the House. He also previously served as Missouri secretary of state.
Kander was elected Missouri’s secretary of state in 2012 and previously served four years in the state House.
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