No Excuses

In a close vote, the House defeats the balanced-budget amendment

SCORE ONE FOR THE BELEAGUERED HOUSE OF REPREsentatives, which demonstrated last week that there are limits to political cynicism, even in a presidential election year. In a surprising turnabout, the House narrowly rejected the balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution by a vote of 280 to 153, just nine votes shy of the required two-thirds majority. The vote was a rebuff to President Bush, who has staked his dwindling prestige on amending the Constitution to mandate by fiat a balanced budget -- the holy grail of government that has eluded Presidents and legislators for the past 23 years.

After a day of...

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