U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-Quitman, released the following remarks after the House failed to pass H.J. Res. 2, which proposes that a balanced budget amendment be added to the U.S. Constitution. Alexander and 241 of his colleagues are cosponsors of this legislation. Among other things, H.J. Res. 2 requires that Congress not spend more than it receives in revenues unless a supermajority of 3/5 of both chambers vote to provide otherwise; calls for a corresponding 3/5 vote to raise the debt ceiling; requires the president to submit a balanced budget to Congress; and dictates that a majority roll call vote be held for any proposed bill to increase taxes.
"This week, we reached an infamous day in American history as our national debt surpassed $15 trillion. Thus far, House Republicans have led the charge calling for a Balanced Budget Amendment to be added to the Constitution. As our unfathomable national debt continues to soar, it is quite evident that Washington will not exercise fiscal restraint by its own preference. Now, more than ever, we need a Balanced Budget Amendment, so that Uncle Sam is forced to set priorities and finally begin living within his means.
"With this recorded vote, House conservatives attempted to give the Senate and the administration yet another approach to help our nation find stable footing. The American people have funded Washington's irresponsible spending habits for far too long, and it is clear that a constitutional amendment is the only way to permanently change our course.
"To achieve this, we must establish a lasting structure of checks and balances that will--under the power of the U.S. Constitution--hold those in federal government accountable for unnecessary and wasteful spending decisions. Common ground must be found to close Uncle Sam's open wallet--and sew it shut.
"The decisions we are making today are going to determine whether or not future generations will have promising opportunities. Don't they deserve it?"