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Mr. FRANKS of Arizona. I certainly thank the gentleman.
Madam Speaker, Mr. Obama and the Democrats have constantly and consistently said we need to take a balanced approach to the debt crisis facing America, but they steadfastly refuse to even consider the one truly balanced approach to this program, that being a balanced budget amendment to the United States Constitution.
This effort today will be the second time that the House of Representatives will have passed legislation requiring a balanced budget amendment, which would actually create a permanent solution to this crisis and make sure that economic freedom can be available for Americans today and for future generations.
Yet Mr. Reid says he will kill this bill as soon as it comes to the Senate, or at least strip out the balanced budget amendment that's in it.
Madam Speaker, if we can get Mr. Reid here and the President himself, and I guess we would have to put out an APB on the President because we can't find him. He is AWOL in this debate. But if we could, I would ask him two questions: First, what is your plan to deal with this issue? Secondly, what on earth is so radical about having a balanced budget amendment to create a permanent solution to this problem?
Now, I doubt we would get an answer, Madam Speaker. So today, we will have to do as we have done before, and we will try to proceed without them and try to do something truly historic that will save this Nation and its people from economic ruin.
Madam Speaker, long ago, right after the Constitution was finished, Thomas Jefferson said: ``I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to the Constitution. I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government to the genuine principles of its Constitution; I mean, an additional article, taking from the Federal Government the power of borrowing.''
Madam Speaker, Thomas Jefferson was right. And how I wish his contemporaries had listened to him about the balanced budget amendment, but they didn't. Now we have a crisis of $14 trillion facing us as a result of not having this amendment, and it could crush us in a way that no military power has ever done. And in this moment in history in America, we may get a second chance. I hope my colleagues will join us in this historic effort.
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