WASHINGTON, July 27 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., blasted Tea Party lawmakers and other conservatives pushing for a balanced budget amendment ahead of raising the debt limit.
Speaking on the Senate floor Wednesday, McCain said it was disingenuous for Republican colleagues to claim a balanced budget amendment could pass by next week, The Hill reported.
Some members of the Senate Tea Party Caucus sent a letter to colleagues Tuesday, urging opposition to House Speaker John Boehner's plan that would cut the deficit by $850 billion and require Congress to pass a $1.8 trillion deficit-reduction package before the election. The senators want to make another run at passing the House-passed "cut, cap and balance" bill that would require passage of a balanced budget amendment before raising the debt limit, The Hill said.
"What is really amazing about this is that some members are believing that we can pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution in this body with its present representation -- and that is foolish," McCain said. "That is worse than foolish. That is deceiving many of our constituents."
McCain said he supports a balanced budget amendment and has voted for one 13 times but added it was unrealistic to demand such an amendment with a potential national default deadline Tuesday.
"That is not fair to the American people, to hold out and say we won't agree to raising the debt limit until we pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution," McCain said.