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A constitutional amendment to require a balanced budget was...

WASHINGTON -- A constitutional amendment to require a balanced budget was introduced in the Senate Wednesday.

The main sponsors are Sen. Strom Thurmond, R-S.C., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.

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On introducting the amendment, Thurmond called for speedy enactment so that it can be sent to the states for ratification.

This nation simply cannot proceed on the same path toward economic ruin,' Thurmond said.

'Congress has shown it is unable to control federal spending and, in doing so, has conceded it must be forced to do so. That is why this amendment is so urgently needed.'

The language of the amendment is the same as the one approved by the Senate last year, 69-31. It was killed in the House.

The amendment requires a balanced budget, except in time of war of if the Senate and House vote, by a three-fifths margin, to permit deficits.

For the provision to become part of the Constitution, it would have to be approved by a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate, then ratified by three-fourths, or 38, of the states.

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