Washington, D.C. – On the first day of the 115th Congress, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) introduced two balanced budget constitutional amendments in the U.S. House of Representatives. Chairman Goodlatte has introduced balanced budget amendments every Congress since the 110th Congress.
H.J. Res. 1 is a four-part balanced budget amendment. It contains a requirement for a balanced annual federal budget, places a spending cap on annual federal spending, imposes a three-fifths supermajority vote requirement to increase the debt limit, and a three-fifths supermajority requirement to raise taxes. The same resolution was introduced last Congress and gained 91 cosponsors.
H.J. Res. 2 is identical to the balanced budget amendment considered in the House of Representatives in the 112th Congress, which received 261 bipartisan votes when it came to the House floor. This resolution requires that Congress not spend more than it receives in revenues. It also requires a true majority of each chamber to pass tax increases and a three-fifths majority to raise the debt limit. Last Congress, 110 cosponsors signed onto the resolution.
Chairman Goodlatte issued the following statement:
“Nearly 20 years ago, the U.S. Senate failed by one vote to pass a balanced budget constitutional amendment. If Congress had sent the amendment to the states for ratification in 1995, we would not be facing the fiscal crisis we are today and balancing the federal budget would be the norm rather than the exception. In order for Congress to consistently make the tough decisions necessary for fiscal responsibility, Congress must have the external pressure of a balanced budget requirement.
“Every Congress since 2007, I have introduced amendments that require Congress to balance the federal budget. I urge my colleagues to consider the impact that reckless spending has on our nation’s future and on future generations. We should not pass on to our children and grandchildren the bleak fiscal future that our unsustainable spending is creating.
“It is time for Congress to finally put an end to fiscal irresponsibility and stop saddling future generations with crushing debts to pay for our current spending. We must rise above partisanship and join together to send a balanced budget amendment to the states for ratification.”