House sets Friday vote on balanced budget proposal

By JIM ABRAMS | November 17, 2011 | 1:30 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House is taking up a proposed constitutional amendment that would force Congress to balance its budget.

Lawmakers plan to vote Friday on the amendment ensuring that spending does not exceed revenues in any given year.

The government is accumulating deficits of $1 trillion a year and the bipartisan deficit supercommittee is struggling to come up with answers as to how Congress should reduce the debt over the coming years.

In 1995, the House reached the two-thirds majority needed to approve a similar balanced budget amendment, only to have it fall one vote short in the Senate.

This year, the outcome is uncertain.

Democrats say a balanced budget requirement would force spending cuts that would make a weak economy weaker.