Majority Leader Eric Cantor has announced that H.J.Res 1, a three part balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, which was introduced by Congressman Bob Goodlatte in the opening hours of the 112th Congress will be considered by the full House of Representatives during the week of July 25th. H.J.Res 1 was favorably reported out of the House Judiciary Committee on June 15th.
Rep. Goodlatte stated, We are at a crossroads in America. We need to cut spending now. Congress has not been restrained by the same realities that American taxpayers face. When you are preparing a budget for your family, you know that you can't spend more than you take in. It's a simple concept but one that Congress has failed to adhere to for far too long. We must balance the budget and reduce the deficit and the debt by being good stewards of taxpayer money.
As annual deficits and the resulting debt continue to grow due to political pressures and dependency on government programs, we must make the tough choices and control spending. We must also enact institutional reforms such as passing a balanced budget amendment that will bind the federal government's hands and cut up its credit cards once and for all.
A balanced budget amendment to the Constitution is the only way to ensure that Congress curtails its spending on an annual basis regardless of which party is in control, continued Rep. Goodlatte.
H.J. Res. 1, which is a three part balanced budget amendment, 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 2/3 majority; and (3) establish an annual spending cap such that total federal spending could not exceed 18% of the economic output of the United States.
In addition to H.J.Res. 1, Congressman Goodlatte introduced another balanced budget Constitutional amendment, H.J.Res. 2, which simply requires that total spending for any fiscal year not exceed total receipts. This legislation is supported by a majority of the House of Representatives.