BUDGET/CONGRESS/ELECTION/SPENDING/TRUMP PEOPLE: “The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote as early as Thursday [4-12-18] on a balanced budget amendment that would prohibit federal spending from exceeding federal revenues, but it is seen as a largely symbolic gesture.The vote is meant to show Republican voters that their party cares about fiscal responsibility, but may come just days after congressional budget analysts said annual U.S. deficits will soon approach $1 trillion due to recent legislation. A balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution has little chance of becoming law since it would need Democratic support in the Senate and approval from three-fourths of U.S. states. Republicans are pushing for it despite passing tax cuts in December that are projected to add $1.9 trillion to the national debt over the next decade. Last month, the Congress passed a bipartisan $1.3 trillion spending bill, adding even more red ink. Republicans, who portrayed themselves as fiscal conservatives when their party was out of power, now control both chambers of Congress as well as the White House.”

Amanda Becker, “Republicans, eyeing midterms, set up ‘messaging’ vote on deficits,” Reuters, April 12, 2018 3:10 am