Majority Leader Eric Cantor has announced that H.J.Res 1, a three part balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, and H.J. Res 2, a straight balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, will be considered by the full House of Representatives on Friday, July 29th. Congressman Goodlatte introduced both H.J.Res 1 and H.J.Res 2 on the first day of the 112th Congress.
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.
Congressional leaders continue to negotiate over the amount of debt the federal government can incur. While no one wants us to default on our obligations, it would be irresponsible for Congress to extend the limit on the national credit card without taking strong steps to reverse the culture of spending that exists in Washington. Passage of a balanced budget amendment is the kind of institutional reform that is needed to bind the federal government's hands and cut up its credit cards."
H.J. Res. 1, which has the support of over 130 bipartisan Members of Congress, 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.
H.J. Res. 2 simply requires that total spending for any fiscal year not exceed total receipts. This bipartisan legislation is supported by a majority of the House of Representatives and is the same legislation that passed the House of Representatives in 1995 and fell one vote short in the Senate.
Rep. Goodlatte continued, "The American people not only want Congress to pass a balanced budget amendment as national surveys repeatedly show but they also understand it because they have to live within their means and know that businesses and local and state governments have to do the same. They expect nothing less from the federal government."