Sens. John Cornyn of Texas, Orrin Hatch of Utah and six colleagues wrote to Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., who is chairman of the Constitution subcommittee as well as assistant majority leader, saying, "Our nation is facing a fiscal crisis that is only getting worse."
"The budget deficit is now almost fifteen times the size it was when the Senate came within one vote of passing a balanced budget amendment in 1997," they wrote.
The amendment, they said, is "long overdue" and would "put in place a much-needed restraint on runaway Washington spending."
On MSNBC Wednesday morning, Durbin called for "some grownup talk here in Washington about dealing with our deficit."
He said the so-called Gang of Six senators was conducting "a true bipartisan dialogue ... putting everything on the table."
He added that allowing "real competition" on drug prices would go far toward saving Medicare.