Congressman John Shimkus (R, Illinois-19) voted for the Balanced Budget Amendment (H.J. Res. 2) in the U.S. House on Friday. While a majority voted for the amendment, the necessary two-thirds majority was not reached.
"Just this week, our total national debt topped the $15 trillion mark," Shimkus stated. "In addition, we are borrowing 42 cents of every dollar we spend at the federal level. That is unsound, unsustainable, and just unwise.
"We are abdicating our duty as elected officials. Both Republican and Democrat majorities in the House and in the White House have contributed to this situation. But we must stop it now!"
This Balanced Budget Amendment would have required Congress to not spend more than taken-in in revenue unless a supermajority of three-fifths voted to do so; required a three-fifths vote to raise the debt ceiling; required the President to submit a balanced budget to Congress; and required a roll call vote on raising taxes. There would have been a five year time frame to implement the amendment had it been added to the Constitution.
"The last time Congress voted on a similar amendment was in 1995, so this was my first opportunity to support such an important amendment," Shimkus added. "We must take control of our spending, and while this amendment is drastic, our situation requires drastic action."