A proposed constitutional amendment that would require Congress to balance the budget failed in the House Friday, capping a months-long campaign by congressional conservatives to build support for the measure.

The proposed balanced budget amendment won a majority in the House, with 261 voting in support of the measure and 165 opposed. But the amendment needed a two-thirds majority — or 284 votes — to pass.

Though a few Republicans voted against the proposal, GOP leaders blamed the Democrats for scuttling the measure and warned of the implications for the nation’s troubled finances.

“It’s unfortunate that Democrats still don’t recognize the urgency of stopping Washington’s job-crushing spending binge,” House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement. “A number of economists and experts support a Balanced Budget Amendment because it would help create a better environment for private-sector job growth.”

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