As the House prepares to hold a largely-symbolic vote Tuesday on a measure to “cut, cap and balance” the federal budget in exchange for raising the debt ceiling, House Democrats sharply criticized the move, which they argued violates basic democratic principles.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, charged at a news conference Tuesday morning that the measure was an “anti-democratic” attempt to “manipulate” the Constitution because it would prevent future congresses from balancing the budget in the way that they see fit.

“This is not a garden-variety balanced budget amendment,” Van Hollen said, adding that Democrats were willing to “have a conversation” about the idea of a constitutional amendment but that the version currently being offered by House Republicans is unacceptable to his party.

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