Hall Supports Balanced Budget Amendment
July 14, 2005
WASHINGTON, D.C. ...Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX/4) joined more than 100 Members of Congress in being an original cosponsor of a Balanced Budget Amendment designed to keep a tight rein on government spending. The proposed amendment, introduced by lead sponsors Reps. Ernest Istook (R-OK) and Gene Taylor (D-MS), would make a Federal deficit unconstitutional except in times of war or a three-fifths vote of Congress. It is a measure that Rep. Hall believes is long overdue.
"A balanced budget amendment would help bring fiscal discipline to Federal spending and help ensure that a balanced budget is the rule - not the exception," Hall said. "Citizens must live within their budgets, and they expect and deserve no less from the Federal government."
The legislation is identical to the Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) to the Constitution approved by the House of Representatives in 1995 as part of the "Contract with America." That measure failed twice in the Senate by a single vote.
"The current deficit is an enormous drain on the American economy and threatens the economic well-being of all our citizens," Hall said. "This amendment would force Congress to produce a balanced budget except in times of war or extenuating circumstances that would require a super-majority vote."
"We certainly do not want to pass the deficit to our children and grandchildren," Hall noted. "A balanced budget will help create a robust economic environment that will generate more jobs, help ensure America's economic security, and bolster vital programs such as defense, Social Security and Medicare."
A Constitutional amendment requires a 2/3rds majority of both the House and Senate and ratification by three-fourths of the states. If passed, the measure would take effect in the first fiscal year beginning after December 31, 2010 or two years after ratification by the states, whichever is later.