Washington, D.C. — On Thursday, July 27, 2017 at 10:00 a.m., the House Judiciary Committee will hold a full committee hearing on the need for a Constitutional amendment to balance the federal budget.

The federal budget deficit and the national debt have become two of America’s most persistent political issues. Recently, due to the federal government’s habitual failure to balance the budget that has produced a gross federal debt of nearly $20 trillion, efforts to secure a constitutional rule to require a balanced federal budget have intensified. A balanced federal budget is a bipartisan goal of many Members of Congress.

The witnesses for the hearing are:

Panel I:

  • The Honorable John Ratcliffe, 4th District of Texas, U.S. House of Representatives
  • The Honorable Bobby Scott, 3rd District of Virginia, U.S. House of Representatives
  • The Honorable Vern Buchanan, 16th District of Florida, U.S. House of Representatives
  • The Honorable Steve Stivers, 15th District of Ohio, U.S. House of Representatives
  • The Honorable Justin Amash, 3rd District of Michigan, U.S. House of Representatives
  • The Honorable Barry Loudermilk, 11th District of Georgia, U.S. House of Representatives
  • The Honorable Stephanie Murphy, 7th District of Florida, U.S. House of Representatives

Panel II:

  • Mr. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, President, American Action Forum
  • Alan S. Blinder, Gordon S. Rentschler Memorial Professor, Economics and Public Affairs, Princeton University
  • David M. Primo, Ani and Mark Gabrellian Professor and Associate Professor, Political Science and Business Administration, University of Rochester
  • Nick Dranias, President and Executive Director, Compact for America Educational Foundation, and Compact Administrator, Compact for a Balanced Budget

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va) issued the following statement in advance of the hearing:

“Every Congress since 2007, I have introduced a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. Our unsustainable federal spending levels are detrimental to our economic stability and jeopardize our nation’s future.

“This week’s hearing will give my colleagues the opportunity to hear from experts about the wide range of problems created by the budget deficit, as well as the need for a Constitutional amendment to hold Congress accountable for a balanced budget each year.”

This hearing will take place in 2141 Rayburn House Office Building and will be webcast live at judiciary.house.gov. Camera crew wishing to cover must be congressionally credentialed and RSVP with the House Radio-TV Gallery at (202) 225-5214.

Background:
At the beginning of the 115th Congress, Chairman Goodlatte introduced two Constitutional amendments for a balanced budget:

H.J.Res. 1 proposes a Constitutional amendment mandating a balanced federal budget. This resolution also places a cap on annual federal spending and requires a three-fifths supermajority vote to increase the debt limit or raise taxes.

H.J.Res. 2 requires that Congress not spend more than it receives in revenue. It also requires a true majority in both the House and the Senate to pass tax increases and a three-fifths supermajority to raise the debt limit. H.J.Res. 2 is identical to a balanced budget amendment considered by the full House of Representatives during the 112th Congress.