The Leader Board

Common Ground

Jul 19 2011

Democrats Want Their Constituents To Believe They're For Cutting, Capping & Balancing. So Will They Follow Through With Their Vote?

Take Senator Nelson, For Example

"Over the years, I have supported a balanced budget amendment, spending caps, and spending cuts." (Sen. Nelson, Congressional Record, S.1920, 3/29/11)

Dems Tell Voters They Want 'Cuts,' 'Caps,' & 'A Balanced Budget Amendment'

'Cutting Is Essential'

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV): "We on this side of the aisle realize we have some problems with spending and we have to do something about it." (Sen. Reid, Congressional Record, S.2702, 5/5/11)

SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): "We can cut spending…" (Sen. Durbin, Congressional Record, S.4406, 7/7/11)

"I am going to support cuts across the board. I am going to support cuts in discretionary spending." (Sen. Nelson, Congressional Record, S.1920, 3/29/11)

SEN. KENT CONRAD (D-ND): "We have a spending problem…" (Sen. Conrad, Congressional Record, S.3316, 5/25/11)

"We need to cut spending…" (Sen. Manchin, Press Release, 4/4/11)

"Cutting is essential, and the public wants us to cut…" ("Senate Democrats Told To Embrace U.S. Spending Cuts Or Risk A Voter Rebuff," Bloomberg, 2/17/11)

SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE (D-RI): "Well, we need to cut spending. Democrats and Republicans agree on that." (Sen. Whitehouse, Congressional Record, S.4355, 7/6/11)

"We have acknowledged, as Democrats, the need for spending cuts, even painful cuts to programs we support." (Sen. Levin, Congressional Record, S.4282, 6/30/11)

CAP: 'Caps… Got To Be Part Of This'

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): "…I have supported caps in the past. That's got to be part of this." (MSNBC's "The Rachael Maddow Show," 1/26/11)

SEN. CLAIRE McCASKILL (D-MO): "We have worked for over a year now on trying to get a spending cap on discretionary spending…"
(Sen. McCaskill, Press Conference, 2/1/11)

"Over the years, I have supported… spending caps." "Mr. President, I wish to talk about our Nation's financial troubles. Over the years, I have supported a balanced budget amendment, spending caps, and spending cuts." (Sen. Nelson, Congressional Record, S.1920, 3/29/11)

"Below is an overview of the problem and two debt fix solutions Senator Manchin will be supporting this week. The first is proposed legislation… which would cap federal spending..." (Sen. Manchin, Press Release)

Sens. Begich (D-AK), Bennet (D-CO), Cantwell (D-WA), Carper (D-DE), Casey (D-PA), Hagan (D-NC), Klobuchar (D-MN), Lieberman (ID-CT), McCaskill (D-MO), Nelson (D-FL), Nelson (D-NE), Shaheen (D-NH), Udall (D-CO), Warner (D-VA), and Webb (D-VA) voted "To establish 3 year discretionary spending caps." (S.Amdt.4303, Roll Call Vote #181, Motion Rejected 57-41: R 40-0; D 16-40; I 1-1, 6/9/10)

Sens. Joe Lieberman (ID-CT), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), and Joe Manchin (D-WV) are cosponsors of S.245, the Commitment to American Prosperity (CAP) Act. (S.245, Introduced 2/1/11)

BALANCE: 'The Balanced Budget Amendment Is Very, Very Important'


SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D-OH): "Before I ask for your vote, I owe it to you to tell you where I stand. I'm for… a balanced budget amendment." (Rep. Brown, "Where I Stand," YouTube, 11/1/06)

SEN. DEBBIE STABENOW (D-MI): "I crossed the line to help balance the budget, as one of the Democrats that broke with my party." (Michigan Senate Debate, 10/22/00)

SEN. MARK BEGICH (D-AK): "It's time to stop playing political brinksmanship with the budget and do what every Alaskan is doing - balance the budget." (Sen. Begich, "Begich Statement On 2011 Budget Vote," Press Release, 4/15/11)

SEN. BILL NELSON (D-FL): "Over the years, I have supported a balanced budget amendment…" (Sen. Bill Nelson, Congressional Record, S.1920, 3/29/11)

"[T]he balanced budget amendment's very, very important to me and to every governor, to every state, to every household, especially in West Virginia. And if they can do it, they think we can do it also." (U.S. Senate, Budget Committee, Hearing, 1/27/11)

"I voted yes and support a balanced budget amendment that allows for flexibility in times of war and for natural disasters." (Sen. Nelson, Press Statement, 3/4/11)

SEN. MARK UDALL (D-CO): "I've long gone by the saying, if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. By restoring healthy and responsible spending through a reasonable Balanced Budget Amendment, we can begin filling in that hole." (Sen. Udall, "Udall Co-Sponsors Balanced Budget Amendment," Press Release, 2/1/11)

SEN. MICHAEL BENNET (D-CO): "U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet broke his hesitation on endorsing the balanced-budget amendment last week… pledging support for the idea." ("Bennet Balancing His Approach To Budget," Denver Post, 3/6/11)

"I think they should. …It would be great if that discipline were in place. Clearly it's a goal we've got to work toward…" "…responding to a question of why the federal government can't have a balanced budget amendment…" SEN. CLAIRE McCASKILL (D-MO): "I think they should. …It would be great if that discipline were in place. Clearly it's a goal we've got to work toward…" ("McCaskill For 'Responsible' Balanced Budget Amendment," PoliticMo, 6/29/11)

"New York families must continuously balance their checkbooks. Forty-nine states, including New York, require a balanced budget. An amendment to the Constitution will finally hold the federal government to the same, common sense standard." (Rep. Gillibrand, "Nation Deserved A Balanced Budget," The Time Union, 6/4/07)

SEN. TOM CARPER (D-DE): "As a Member of the House, when I served with Senator Santorum over there, we were great proponents of something called a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution…" (Sen. Carper, Congressional Record, S.8063-4, 7/14/04)

"…I believe we should have a constitutional amendment to balance the budget. I am willing to go for that." (Sen. Reid, Congressional Record, S.1333, 2/12/97)

SEN. KENT CONRAD (D-ND): "I believe deeply in the need to balance the Federal budget… I would support an amendment to the Constitution." (Sen. Conrad, Congressional Record, S.1147, 2/10/97)

SEN. HERB KOHL (D-WI): "The balanced budget amendment does, in my opinion, embody a principle simple and vital enough to deserve inclusion in the Constitution." (Sen. Kohl, Congressional Record, S.1609, 2/26/97)

SEN. MARY LANDRIEU (D-LA): "I took a position to support a Balanced Budget Amendment…" (Sen. Landrieu, Press Conference, 2/25/1997)

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA): "The spending trends are what really motivates me, and I hope others, to accept a constitutional balanced budget amendment." (Sen. Feinstein, Congressional Record, S.1594, 2/26/97)

SEN. TOM HARKIN (D-IA): "Mr. President, I have long supported a balanced budget amendment. I expect to do so again..."
(Sen. Harkin, Congressional Record, S.2460, 2/10/95)

SEN. TIM JOHNSON (D-SD): "It is time to get our priorities straight. I've been a strong supporter of a balanced budget amendment…" (Rep. Johnson, Congressional Record, H.11213, 10/26/95)

SEN. MAX BAUCUS (D-MT): "I have always supported a balanced budget. Montanans want a balanced budget. We must listen to the people and give them a balanced budget." (Sen. Baucus, Congressional Record, S.2469, 2/10/95)

SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): "…we need to move toward a Balanced Budget Amendment." (Rep. Durbin, Congressional Record, H.1310, 1/11/95)

SEN. JON TESTER (D-MT): "It's absolutely critical." "My folks did not teach me to not have a fiscal balanced budget. It's absolutely critical… Because I am of the belief that you take care of your own self and you don't pass your debts on to your kids... Let's be fiscally responsible. Let's have a fiscally balanced budget." (Montana Senate Debate, 6/25/06)

•    "Jon Tester will lead efforts to balance the federal budget…" ("Real Change, Real Vision For Montana Plan," Jon Tester Website, Accessed 7/14/11)

•    Tester Spokesman: "Of course Jon supports a balanced budget…" ("Rehberg Chides Tester Over Budget-Balancing Vote," Billings Gazette, 3/3/11)

SEN. BOB CASEY (D-PA): "I Believe In A Balanced Budget. Government Should Live Within Its Means, Like Any Small Business." MR. RUSSERT: "Let me find out how you would implement something that you're promising the voters of Pennsylvania. Here's a Casey campaign ad about our budget." (Videotape, Bob Casey campaign ad): MR. CASEY: "I believe in a balanced budget. Government should live within its means, like any small business." MR. RUSSERT: "How would you get a balanced budget?" MR. CASEY: "It's not easy, Tim, but here are the steps we should take. First of all, when it comes to the budget, what's missing principally is a lack of fiscal responsibility, you know that. We've gone from about two, 236 of, of surplus down to 296 in deficit. We need some fiscal discipline." (Pennsylvania Senate Debate, "Meet The Press," 9/3/06)

Sen. Lieberman Voted For A Balanced Budget Amendment. (S.Amdt.115, Roll Call Vote #30, Amendment Rejected 58-40: R 48-0; D 10-39; I 1-1, 3/2/11)