Congressman Bob Goodlatte issued this statement following the vote in the House of Representatives on H.J.Res 2, a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.
"Today the House of Representatives held an historic vote on a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, legislation which I introduced on the opening day of the 112th Congress. This vote was the direct result of the priorities of the American people. The American people, who overwhelmingly support a balanced budget amendment, have repeatedly asked Congress to put partisan politics aside and work together to ensure a bright fiscal future for our country.
House Republicans heeded that call and put politics aside by bringing the bipartisan H.J.Res 2, which is supported by a majority of the House of Representatives, to the floor for a vote. Unfortunately, the House Democratic Leadership put politics over principle and worked hard to defeat this important legislation.
Despite voting for the same balanced budget amendment in 1995, House Minority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and House Assistant Minority Leader Jim Clyburn (D-SC) actively worked to defeat this common-sense solution to our nation's fiscal woes. This vote should not have been about politics. It should have been about what is right for our nation.
It is a simple concept -- you can't spend more than you take in. Business owners, individuals and families all across this country understand this concept and live by it in their own lives. They should expect nothing less from the federal government and yet Congress continues to prove it cannot make the tough decisions on its own. We must rein in the skyrocketing deficit spending that is discouraging investment and threatening to bankrupt our nation.
I remain committed to passing a balanced budget amendment. I appreciate the strong support H.J.Res 2 received from dozens of Democrats and I look forward to working with them in the future to build even more support for this much needed institutional reform. It is the only way to ensure that Congress curtails its spending on an annual basis regardless of which party is in control."
The Budget Control Act, which was signed into law on August 2, 2011, requires that both the House and the Senate vote on a balanced budget Constitutional amendment by the end of the year. Rep. Goodlatte, who has long been an advocate for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, introduced H.J. Res. 2 in the opening hours of the 112th Congress. This legislation simply requires that total spending for any fiscal year not exceed total receipts and is the same legislation that passed the House of Representatives in 1995 and fell one vote short in the Senate. Despite having the support of a majority of the Members of Congress (242 cosponsors), the measure fell short of the necessary two-thirds of the House of Representatives with a final vote of 261-165.