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PANEL PASSES A BILL TO BALANCE THE U.S. BUDGET

SHARE PANEL PASSES A BILL TO BALANCE THE U.S. BUDGET

The Senate Judiciary Committee has endorsed a constitutional amendment to force a balanced budget that is championed by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.

The panel endorsed the measure this week, which is sponsored by Sen. Paul Simon, D-Ill., and cosponsored by Hatch, who said the nation is going further in debt the longer it takes to enact such legislation."When we introduced this bill in February, our per-capita debt amounted to roughly $16,700. Currently, every man, woman and child in this country has a debt burden of over $17,200. That's an increase of over $500 for each of us in just five months," he said.

Hatch estimated "that every child born in America will pay in a normal lifetime nearly $135,000 in extra taxes just to pay the interest on the present federal debt. This fiscal child abuse must end."

Both houses of Congress in recent years have had several votes on a balanced budget amendment, but it has failed to get the two-thirds majority needed before it can be sent to state legislatures.

The committee also endorsed a bill by Hatch to increase federal law enforcement funding to combat telemarketing fraud, and stiffens penalties for it when senior citizens are the principal victims.

Earlier this year, the FBI made several hundred arrests nationally in an undercover investigation into telemarketing fraud that began two years ago in Salt Lake City.