• Share
  • Read Later
The Senate rejected the balanced budget amendment today by a vote of 63-35, two short of the two-thirds majority needed to send to the states the question of whether to change the Constitution. Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, who led the fight to pass the amendment, voted against it in an obscure parliamentary procedure that gives him the right to force another roll call on it next year. President Clinton, who opposes the amendment, blamed the defeat on the GOP's refusal to protect the Social Security trust fund from budget cuts. Sen. Paul Simon (D-Ill.) said the vote showed the Senate cannot shake its "addiction" to deficit spending. The amendment, which cleared the House, would have required the government to start balancing its budgets by 2002. TIME Congress correspondent Karen Tumulty says Dole hopes to muster enough support to approve it next year. "He's only going to hold another vote on it if he can win," says Tumulty.