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012913 daines legislature

U.S. Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont., speaks to a joint session of the Montana Legislature on Monday.

HELENA — U.S. Rep. Steve Daines says his first bill introduced to Congress seeks to force a balanced budget.

The Republican took office last month and replaces former Congressman Denny Rehberg, who vacated the office to unsuccessfully challenge U.S. Sen. Jon Tester.

Daines said his bill would require Congress to pass a budget that would balance in 10 years or have their pay terminated.

Daines and other Republicans have said they want to pass a budget that balances federal spending in 10 years. Democrats say that would lead to steep cuts in programs like Medicare if the GOP sticks with its demand balance only with cuts and without any revenue increases.

Daines' proposal states budgets starting in 2015 must show a predicted balanced budget by 2023, or lawmakers won't be paid.

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