Dem. Senator: GOP Has ‘Morphed Into A Kind Of A Cult’

By Nicholas Ballasy | July 21, 2011 | 7:19am EDT

( – Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) labeled the Republican Party as "kind of a cult" at the Capitol on Wednesday.

"The sad reality is that America no longer has a two party system. One of our two parties has morphed into a kind of a cult driven by a singular fixation and obsession – preserving and expanding tax breaks for the wealthy at all costs. This so-called balanced budget amendment would make it all but impossible to raise revenues in the future," said Harkin at a press conference on the "Cut, Cap and Balance" legislation passed by the GOP-led House on Tuesday.

"This would permanently lock in the benefits of special tax breaks for the wealthy as well as the outrageous 15 percent tax rate for hedge fund billionaires so millionaires and billionaires get royal treatment. It’s the middle class would be devastated by the ‘Cut, Cap and Kill’ Medicare bill."

The "Cut, Cap, and Balance Act of 2011" would prevent the House or Senate from considering any "bill, joint resolution, amendment, or conference report that would cause the most recently reported current GDP outlay limits set forth in section 319 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 to be exceeded."

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)

The outlays, according to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) are as follows: 21.7 percent for fiscal year 2013; 20.8 percent for fiscal year 2014; 20.2 percent for fiscal year 2015; 20.1 percent for fiscal year 2016; 19.9 percent for fiscal year 2017; 19.7 percent for fiscal year 2018; 19.9 percent for fiscal year 2019; 19.9 percent for fiscal year 2020; and 19.9 percent for fiscal year 2021.

The bill would also allow a vote on a constitutional amendment requiring Congress to pass a balanced budget each fiscal year, meaning the amount of funds Congress appropriates would have to match the amount of revenue the government collects.

The President has vowed to veto the ‘Cut, Cap and Balance" measure. 

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