The Debt Ceiling proposal of Speaker of the House John Boehner barely made it through the House of Representatives yesterday by a vote of 218-210, with 22 Tea Party radicals voting against the proposal.
It has already been defeated in the Senate by a motion to table it, and the President has already indicated that he would veto it were it to pass the Senate.
And there is good reason to defeat it, as it requires another vote in six months on the extension of the debt ceiling, in the midst of a presidential campaign, and would guarantee further economic turmoil while the economy is in such a deep recession. It is reckless and irrational to complicate the economic recovery, and the Democrats are right in demanding an extension of the debt ceiling for 18 months until after the Presidential Election of 2012.
But beyond all this, there is another element to consider, and that is the demand under the Boehner legislation that the Congress MUST pass a balanced budget constitutional amendment, or else the debt ceiling will NOT be raised at all, six months from now!
This is economic terrorism at its worst, and it is, of course, impossible to accomplish!
Realize there are 240 Republicans in the House of Representatives in the 112th Congress, and 47 Republicans in the US Senate.
To accomplish the passage of any constitutional amendment and send it on to the states, a two thirds vote is required in both houses, which means you need 290 votes in the House if everyone is voting, and 67 Senators.
This would mean that at least 50 Democrats in the House of Representatives and 20 Democrats in the Senate would have to support such an amendment, and that simply is NOT going to happen under any circumstances!
And the irony is even if such an occurrence came about, there is almost no chance that 38 state legislatures (three fourths of the states) would pass such an amendment by a majority vote in both houses!
All that would be needed is to have one house of the state legislature by a one vote margin of defeat in 13 states kill the amendment, and one must recall that the proposed Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s reached 35 states, three short of the required 38, and then died.
So the possibility of a constitutional amendment under the so called “best circumstances” to be added to the Constitution is less likely than that we are going to send astronauts to Mars in the next decade!
In other words, the odds are absolutely ZERO!