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GOP calls for balanced budget amendment

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) speaks at a press conference on increasing the debt ceiling and balancing the budget in Washington, D.C. on June 22, 2011. UPI/Kevin Dietsch
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) speaks at a press conference on increasing the debt ceiling and balancing the budget in Washington, D.C. on June 22, 2011. UPI/Kevin Dietsch | License Photo

WASHINGTON, July 16 (UPI) -- Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch Saturday called for Congress to approve a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution in the weekly GOP radio and Internet address.

"Think of how different our fiscal picture would be if we'd passed one in 1997," Hatch said. "Fourteen years later, our nation faces a debt crisis of epic proportions. Our national debt has gone from roughly $5 trillion in 1997 to over $14 trillion today.

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"That's more than $45,000 for every man, woman, and child in America."

Congress is debating a GOP-proposed balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution with votes set for next week.

"While details of this debate change by the day, the fundamentals are clear," said Hatch. "President Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress refuse to come up with a legitimate plan to confront our runaway spending that has left our country over $14 trillion in debt. He refuses to reform our near bankrupt entitlement programs -- all while pushing job-killing tax hikes."

Hatch said the Obama administration does not want a balanced budget amendment "because they want to keep spending the American people's money."

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