A top Democrat Sunday accused Republicans of demanding a balanced budget amendment to "manipulate" the Constitution and end Medicare as it exists today. "What is wrong with 'cut, cap and balance' and what are the chances it will get through the
July 17, 2011

A top Democrat Sunday accused Republicans of demanding a balanced budget amendment to "manipulate" the Constitution and end Medicare as it exists today.

"What is wrong with 'cut, cap and balance' and what are the chances it will get through the House, through the Senate and signed by the president?" Fox News' Chris Wallace asked Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee.

"No one should be fooled about this," Van Hollen said. "They're not proposing a clean balanced budget amendment. What they are proposing is to manipulate the Constitution and use it to impose the Republican budget plan.

He continued: "If you look at that plan, it does end the Medicare guarantee. It slashes Medicaid. It slashes deeply to education and it protects tax breaks for special interests. They would write that into the United States Constitution. Under their proposal, it would be easier to cut Medicare than to cut subsidies for oil and gas companies. You have majority vote to cut Medicare and majority vote to create special interest loopholes. You need two-thirds to close tax breaks. That is an anti-majoritarian position. The framers would be turning in their grave if they read their provision."

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