Today Congressman Bob Goodlatte issued this statement following reports that some House Democratic Leaders are urging members of their caucus to oppose all forms of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.
"The American people are demanding action. They are asking Congress to put partisan politics aside and work together for the future of our country. They know that it is crucial we rein in the skyrocketing deficit spending that is discouraging investment and threatening to bankrupt our nation.
With the House of Representatives on the cusp of an historic vote on a Constitutional amendment requiring the federal government to balance the budget, some Democratic Leaders are urging all members of the Democratic Caucus to reject this common-sense solution to our nation's fiscal woes.
While Minority Leader Steny Hoyer, who voted for a balanced budget amendment in 1995, is claiming that now is not the time to require the federal government to balance the budget nothing could be further from the truth.
I am pleased to have bipartisan support for H.J.Res. 2, which is the same legislation that Mr. Hoyer voted for in 1995 when it passed the House with a bipartisan vote. I have heard from dozens of other Democrats who support the legislation and intend to vote for it should it come before the full House. It is extremely disappointing that the Democratic leadership would suggest that Congress simply "kick the can further down the road' by spearheading an effort to kill any chance of the House passing a balanced budget amendment.
Passage of a balanced budget amendment must be bipartisan and so I urge the Democratic Leadership to reconsider their obstructionist actions and listen to the members of their caucus and the American people. The decisions we make today will steer the direction of the country for years to come. We have an opportunity now to take action to ensure that our children will face a much brighter fiscal picture but we must work together."
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, is the lead sponsor of two such measures: H.J. Res. 1, which has the support of over 130 bipartisan Members of Congress, is a three part balanced budget amendment which would (1) amend the Constitution to require that total spending for any fiscal year not exceed total receipts; (2) require that bills to raise revenues pass each House of Congress by a 2/3 majority; and (3) establish an annual spending cap such that total federal spending could not exceed 18% of the economic output of the United States. H.J. Res. 2 simply requires that total spending for any fiscal year not exceed total receipts. This bipartisan legislation is supported by 243 bipartisan Members of the House of Representatives and is the same legislation that passed the House of Representatives in 1995 and fell one vote short in the Senate.