Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-7) today expressed deep disappointment over the vote to reject a bipartisan Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) to the United States Constitution. Despite receiving 261 votes the measure fell short of the necessary two-thirds majority needed.
"I am deeply disappointed that the balanced budget amendment failed to achieve the necessary two-thirds vote," Lance said. "In 1995 the U.S. House overwhelmingly passed a balanced budget amendment by a 300 to 132 vote. Sixteen years later our Nation faces a $15 trillion debt and the current U.S. House took a disappointing step backward and failed to act in a fiscally responsible manner."
In the New Jersey State Legislature, Lance led the fight against borrowing without voter approval. In 2004 he successfully sued Governor James McGreevey on the issue in the State Supreme Court, and in 2008 New Jersey voters approved the "Lance Amendment" to the State Constitution, which requires all future borrowing to be approved by the voters.
"Many states, including New Jersey, are required to balance their state budgets, yet the federal government continues to spend more than it takes in," said Lance. "A balanced budget amendment would be a major step in placing our Nation on a glide path toward fiscal restraint and bringing greater economic certainty to help create the jobs we so desperately need. The American people support a balanced budget. But clearly in this instance President Obama and a large majority of my Democratic colleagues disagreed."