Some of the more conservative Republicans are advocating a balanced budget amendment, which would put permanent spending caps on the U.S. government, as part of a debt ceiling compromise. That's unlikely, as constitutional amendments take a long time to pass, and this one would be met with strong opposition from Democrats. But Congress may also consider other spending caps, such as a proposal from Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill and Republican Sen. Bob Corker to tie federal spending to a certain percentage of the national gross domestic product. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid endorsed the idea of "deficit caps," which Republicans blasted as an underhand way to raise taxes.
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