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GOP conservatives had rallied behind a version of the balanced budget amendment that would put a tight cap on the federal budget and require a two-thirds vote in Congress to raise taxes.

To amend the Constitution, it takes a two-thirds vote in both House and Senate and ratification by 38 states. At least 48 Democratic votes are needed to get the required two-thirds margin in the GOP-controlled House.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Occupy protest disrupts Bachmann’s speech

MOUNT PLEASANT | About 30 Occupy Wall Street protesters interrupted a foreign policy speech Thursday by Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann in South Carolina.

Mrs. Bachmann was delivering the speech on the deck of the mothballed aircraft carrier USS Yorktown near Charleston when the protesters stood up and began shouting, “Mike check!”

They told her she was more concerned with dividing Americans than helping them. They chanted for about three minutes while the Minnesota congresswoman left the stage.

The protesters eventually walked off the ship after she left.

Mrs. Bachmann later returned and continued her speech. She pledged to cut defense spending if necessary if elected, and said she will make sure the nation is protected.

From wire dispatches and staff reports