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As a condition for increasing the federal debt ceiling, Congress and President Obama agreed on the mechanics of the BCA, which resurrected the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings concepts of spending caps and automatic cuts.
Similarly, the Pay-as-You-Go rules put in place by Gramm-Rudman-Hollings were meant to control new mandatory spending while leaving untouched what was already on the books.
In 1985, a debt limit debate led to the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings law of 1985, which set deficit targets and enforced them with sequesters.
Conservatives point to the failure of the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings bill to ratchet down budget deficits as proof that the Congressional inertia which perpetuates deficit spending only can be broken by a constitutional amendment.
I am not categorically opposed to quasi-constitutional structural statutes or to Congress' efforts to tie itself to the mast, as it attempted to do in the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act.
1) Legislators have made several efforts, such as the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings (GRH) Act of 1986 and the Budget Reconciliation Bill of 1993, to reduce deficits and debt.
One was the case of a Farmers Home Administration supervisor from South Dakota despondent over the prospect of having to foreclose on the property of local farmers; the second involved a former serviceman from New Hampshire depressed over government insensitivity toward Vietnam veterans (he was particularly concerned about the impact that the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Deficit Reduction Act would have on benefits); and the third featured an injured and unemployed pipe welder from Connecticut whose disability payments had recently been cut off or reduced.
This was the result not only of economic growth, but of the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings budget-control act, which at least slowed the pace of Congress' spending spree, the real cause of the deficit.
As was the case with Gramm-Rudman-Hollings (which required across-the-board spending cuts if a deficit target was exceeded), significant exemptions are envisioned by most advocates.
Previous efforts to address the nation's growing debt include The Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Agreement and the Budget Enforcement Act of 1990.
The new budget procedures make it easier than under the previous Gramm-Rudman-Hollings procedures for fiscal policy to have a stabilizing effect on the economy.
Battelle was counting on a $25 million Army contract to develop antidotes to biochemical warfare poisonings, but that hope died in the first year of the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings federal budget cuts.