House plans vote on balanced budget amendment

WASHINGTON (AP) - House GOP leaders are planning a vote Thursday on a proposed amendment to the Constitution requiring a balanced budget.

The vote comes as Congress struggles to pass legislation increasing the government's borrowing cap to avoid a U.S. default.

Many tea party-backed lawmakers are insisting on passage of a balanced budget amendment before they consider voting for an increase in the debt limit. But the House effort appears unlikely to win the two-thirds margin required to pass.

The House passed a balanced budget amendment in 1995 but it fell just short in the Senate.

Republicans are backing a version of the amendment that's far stricter than the 1995 version. It would require a two-thirds vote by Congress to raise taxes and would force major cuts to Medicare and Social Security.

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(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)