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Constitutional Balanced Budget Amendment introduced in U.S. Senate

VIDEO:  Hyde-Smith Discusses Why the U.S. Needs a Constitutional Balanced Budget Amendment.

Credit: U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith release

With a looming battle over the nation’s debt and borrowing authority, U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) with 23 cosponsors has introduced a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution to force the President and Congress to enact annual balanced budgets.

The joint resolution (S.J.Res.13) proposes a constitutional amendment to establish requirements for the submission and approval of annual balanced budgets, including guidelines regarding exceeding spending caps and raising taxes.  Hyde-Smith introduced similar resolutions in the 116th and 117th Congresses.

“The old saying goes, ‘Money doesn’t grow on trees.’  This is a lesson lost on Democrats whose intent to spend trillions upon trillions of taxpayer dollars to grow government is astounding by any measure,” Sen. Hyde-Smith said, pointing to a national debt that has skyrocketed to $31.5 trillion.

“Most Americans understand that our growing deficit and national debt will catch up with us if we don’t act to control spending.  We must learn to live within our means.  Mississippi is required to balance its budget and Washington should too,” she added.  “My balanced budget amendment provides the American people and our nation’s leaders with a responsible framework to save the country from a future of perpetual and unsustainable red ink.”

The joint resolution would amend the U.S. Constitution to require:

  • Require the President to submit a balanced budget
  • Require Congress to pass a balanced budget
  • Restrict federal spending to 18 percent of the Gross Domestic Product
  • Require two-thirds majority votes in the House and Senate to raise taxes
  • Require a new three-fifths majority vote in both houses of Congress to raise the debt limit

S.J.Res.13 also includes certain spending waivers for use during wartime or imminent danger to national security.  (Read the legislation here, along with a one-pager here.)

Original cosponsors of the Hyde-Smith measure include U.S. Sen.s John Cornyn (R-Texas), John Thune (R-S.D.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Roger Marshall, M.D. (Kan.), Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), Katie Britt (R-Ala.), and Mike Lee (R-Utah).

“For far too long the U.S. government has not been forced to make the tough choices necessary to keep spending in check,” Sen. Wicker said.  “I have repeatedly supported balanced budget amendments to ensure the President and Congress take ownership of our financial future and rein in our ballooning debt.”

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