Marc Heller in Washington reports:
WASHINGTON — Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh, voted today against a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.
Mr. Owens had been officially undecided on the measure until the day of the vote, although earlier in the day he noted comments by the Republlican Chairman of the House Rules Committee, Rep. David Dreier of California, that the government was able to balance its budget during the Bill Clinton administration without such a consitutional requirement.
The measure failed, falling short of the 284 votes needed to pass under suspension of the rules. The vote was 261 in favor, 165 opposed.
Mr. Owens earlier in the week said he was unsure how he would vote and wanted to consider how the measure would allow for deficit spending in certain situations. He said any provision allowing for such spending should be subject to a cap.