Today Congressman Bob Goodlatte announced the support of over 200 bipartisan Members of Congress for H.J.Res 2, a balanced budget Constitutional amendment. This legislation, which Congressman Goodlatte introduced in the opening hours of the 112th Congress, requires that total spending for any fiscal year not exceed total receipts.
Support is also growing for H.J.Res. 1, a three part balanced budget amendment which Congressman Goodlatte also introduced. H.J.Res 1, which has over 120 cosponsors, would (1) amend the Constitution to require that total spending for any fiscal year not exceed total receipts; (2) require that bills to raise revenues pass each House of Congress by a 3/5 majority; and (3) establish an annual spending cap such that total federal spending could not exceed 1/5 of the economic output of the United States.
"We have a spending addiction in Washington, D.C., and it has proven to be an addiction that Congress cannot control on its own and which is bringing dire consequences," said Rep. Goodlatte. "We have gone in a few short years from a deficit of billions of dollars to a deficit of trillions of dollars. The government is borrowing money at an unprecedented pace, which presents serious risks of massive inflation. Our national debt recently surpassed an astonishing $14 trillion and continues to rapidly increase, along with the waste associated with paying the interest on that debt.
Goodlatte continued, "The fact that over 200 bipartisan Members of Congress have cosponsored H.J.Res 2 and nearly 120 Members have cosponsored H.J.Res. 1 shows the strong commitment on behalf of nearly half the Members of the House to balancing our federal budget."
A balanced budget amendment is a commonsense measure that is long overdue. A Constitutional amendment will force Congress to eliminate unnecessary and wasteful spending and make the decisions necessary to balance the budget and eliminate the federal deficit. Currently, forty-nine out of fifty state governments, including Virginia, have a balanced budget requirement.
"A balanced budget amendment to our Constitution will once and for all require Congress to rein in this out-of-control behavior," said Rep. Goodlatte. "My legislation ensures that the federal government is held accountable and that the money our citizens work so hard to earn is not squandered on wasteful spending and programs."
Goodlatte continued, "Our federal government must be lean, efficient and responsible with the dollars that our nation's citizens worked so hard to earn. We must work to both eliminate every cent of waste and squeeze every cent of value out of each dollar our citizens entrust to us. Families all across our nation understand what it means to make tough decisions each day about what they can and cannot afford and government officials should be required to exercise similar restraint when spending the hard-earned dollars of our nation's citizens."
Both H.J. Res 1 and H.J.Res 2 have been referred to the House Judiciary Committee on which Congressmen Goodlatte serves as a senior Member.