Title: Proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Hatch Bill)
Vote Smart's Synopsis:
Vote to pass a joint resolution that submits a constitutional amendment to the state legislatures that prohibits the federal government from spending money in excess of its revenue, beginning 5 fiscal years after the amendment is ratified.
Prohibits the federal government from spending more money than it receives for any fiscal year, unless authorized to do so for a specific expenditure by a two-thirds majority vote in both houses of Congress.
Prohibits federal spending from exceeding 18 percent of the gross domestic product of the United States, unless authorized to do so for a specific expenditure by a two-thirds majority vote in both houses of Congress.
Defines "federal revenue" as excluding funds derived from borrowing.
Defines "federal spending" as excluding debt payments.
Requires a two-thirds majority vote in both houses of Congress for any bill that imposes a new tax, increases the rate of any existing tax, or increases the aggregate amount of revenue collected by the federal government, unless the revenue increase is the result of a tax cut.
Requires a three-fifths majority vote in both houses of Congress for any increase in the federal debt limit.
Exempts the federal government from the provisions of this act during any fiscal year in which 1 of the following criteria are met:
A declaration of war against a nation;
State is in effect, and a majority of both houses of Congress vote to waive the provisions; or
The United States is engaged in a military conflict that causes an "imminent and serious" military threat to national security, as declared by a three-fifths majority vote of both houses of Congress.