Twilight Zone: Balanced-budget politics

Balanced-budget politics

Democratic Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, the minority leader, for weeks had been criticizing the proposed constitutional amendment that would require a balanced federal budget. Republican Senator John Tower of Texas told colleagues he would try to pressure his state legislators back home into not ratifying it. "Ninetynine percent of us have doubts," said Minnesota Republican Senator David Durenberger. "I don't know if it will work."

But when the Senate last week cast a suspenseful roll-call vote on the amendment, Byrd, Tower and Durenberger all voted for it. They were far...

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