Congressman Rick Berg today called for the passage of a balanced budget amendment as a necessary course of action to halt President Barack Obama's out-of-control spending and place restraints on Washington's ability to spend more than it takes in. North Dakota is among the 49 states that abide by some form of a balanced budget requirement.
Joined at the North Dakota State Capitol by North Dakota legislators, including Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner and House Majority Leader Al Carlson, Berg urged Congress to expeditiously pass a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which will likely be voted on within the month.
"In North Dakota, we work hard to hand off a better future to the next generation, and that's what our state has done by balancing its budgets and adopting common sense policies that encourage private sector job creation and economic growth. Meanwhile, President Obama has taken Washington in the complete opposite direction." Berg stated. "The time for a balanced budget amendment is now. Washington isn't just broken--it's broke. President Obama's out-of-control spending and Washington's inability to live within its means has driven our nation deep into debt, forcing our children and grandchildren to be burdened with nearly $15 trillion in debt. I believe a balanced budget amendment is the only mechanism that would ensure that Washington spends no more than it takes in. Washington could learn a lot from the way we do things here in North Dakota, which is why I will fight for a balanced budget amendment when it comes before Congress."
This spring, the North Dakota Legislature passed a resolution urging Congress to adopt a federal balanced budget amendment. The resolution, SCR 4013, noted that a balanced budget amendment was necessary to restore fiscal discipline to the United States.
"In North Dakota, we know that you don't spend more than you take in--that's why our legislature balances our state budget each session," Wardner said. "To get our national spending under control and reduce our debt, Washington could use some North Dakota common sense. Passing a Balanced Budget Amendment is a step in the right direction."
"President Obama's spending spree has driven our nation deep into debt, which amounts to generational theft, and it's clear that under his policies, the debt will only continue to grow and add to this," Carlson added. "In North Dakota, we know that Washington needs to change the course it's on. That's why the state legislature passed a resolution in support of a Balanced Budget Amendment this spring. I support Rick's fight to change the way Washington works and urge Congress to join him and the state of North Dakota in supporting a Balanced Budget Amendment."
This week, Berg wrote an op-ed calling on Congress to pass a balanced budget amendment. Berg expressed the importance of ensuring that Washington does not spend more than it takes in, noting that 42 cents of every dollar spent by the U.S. government was borrowed.
Berg also noted that a balanced budget amendment failed by a single vote in the Senate 15 years ago, when the national debt was $4.9 trillion. In less than 15 years since then, national debt has tripled to nearly $15 trillion. Additionally, the national debt has increased by more than $3.7 trillion in the time passed since President Obama took office. It took the United States 216 years, from 1776 until 1992, to accumulate the same amount of debt that Obama has borrowed in 2.5 years.
Berg has urged North Dakotans to visit his website, www.berg.house.gov/BBA, to learn more about a balanced budget amendment.