In the Weekly Republican Address, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) makes the case for how a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution would provide greater certainty about our nation's fiscal trajectory over the long haul, helping private-sector small-business people plan, invest and get back to creating jobs. "That's why," Rep. Goodlatte says, "in his upcoming jobs speech, President Obama should call on both parties to come together this fall and send a Balanced Budget Amendment to the states for ratification." The American people strongly support a Balanced Budget Amendment, which will get a vote in both houses of Congress this fall. Following is the full text of the address. Audio of the address is available here. Video will be available here for viewing and here for downloading once the embargo is lifted tomorrow at 6:00 a.m.
"Hello, I'm Congressman Bob Goodlatte from the Commonwealth of Virginia. It's a pleasure to speak with you on Labor Day weekend as we honor the ingenuity and perseverance of America's workers.
"Of course, ours are the best workers in the world, and given a level playing field, they can compete and win against anyone.
"Except we don't have a level playing field. Our employers face some of the highest tax rates in the world. Endless red tape makes it harder to plan and invest. Our national debt -- much of which is owed to China -- is on track to exceed the size of our entire economy.
"The president's "stimulus' spending has proven counterproductive. Government has gotten in the way when it can be part of the solution. With millions of Americans still asking "where are the jobs?,' the president should help lead a bipartisan effort to remove government barriers to job creation.
"We can start by eliminating burdensome mandates and regulations; stopping policies that drive up gas prices; expanding American energy production in order to increase jobs and American manufacturing; and approving free trade agreements that open new markets to American-made goods. These ideas and other much-needed reforms are part of Republicans' Plan for America's Job Creators. Learn more by visiting Jobs.GOP.gov.
"While our workers are being held back by Washington, there's nothing in place to stop the federal government from bankrolling further big government spending ... the kind that leads to government expansion into private-sector jobs, burdensome mandates on job creators and skyrocketing national debt.
"For hard-working families, making tough decisions to live within your means is a necessity. For 49 out of 50 states, it's the law. So you're right to expect no less from Washington.
"This fall, both the House and the Senate will vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution that would force Congress to spend only what the government takes in. This would ensure spending cuts made today don't easily disappear tomorrow. That doesn't just mean a fiscal house in order: it also means more certainty for the private sector and a better environment for job creation.
"That's why, in his upcoming jobs speech, President Obama should call on both parties to come together this fall and send a Balanced Budget Amendment to the states for ratification.
"This amendment isn't my idea; it's not a new idea. Thomas Jefferson expressed strong support for it in 1798. On March 2nd, 1995, the U.S. Senate failed -- by one vote -- to send a Balanced Budget Amendment to the states. More than $9 trillion has been added to our national debt since. That's a 180 percent increase. Imagine how different things would be if the amendment had passed. We cannot afford to make the same mistake.
"This won't be easy. As you know, a constitutional amendment requires the approval of two-thirds of both houses of Congress before it goes to the states. We need bipartisan support to get the Balanced Budget Amendment across the finish line.
"So to help spread the word, we've set up a website where you can learn more and share information about the importance of a Balanced Budget Amendment. The address is gop.gov/balancethebudget. We'll also be talking about this on Twitter using the hashtag "BBA4jobs.'
"This Labor Day, America's workers are right to ask where the jobs are. You deserve better answers. The policies coming out of Washington aren't getting it done.
"By focusing on removing barriers to job creation -- and creating barriers to debt creation -- we can get our economy back on track. Together, we can restore the promise that for all of us is America.
"Thank you for listening, and enjoy your Labor Day weekend."