Congressman Wally Herger (R-CA) released the following statement after the House failed to attain the two-thirds requirement to pass a balanced budget amendment. The final vote count on H. J. Res. 2, the Balanced Budget Amendment, was 261-165. You can also watch a video of Congressman Herger's speech in favor of the amendment here as well as read the text of the speech below.
"As the national debt crossed the unthinkable $15 trillion mark this week, I am very disappointed that the House failed to pass a balanced budget amendment. This demonstrates that many members of Congress are still not serious about cutting spending. Fiscal responsibility has been all too rare in recent years when it should be at the heart of how Congress operates. Unless we address our severe debt crisis, we will not have an economy that is strong enough to offer a favorable environment for job creation."
Text of remarks in favor of the amendment:
"Mr. Speaker, the American people understand the basic principle that you can't spend money you don't have. They live that reality on a daily basis. Unfortunately, Congress has disregarded this idea, choosing instead to imagine that it could spend money endlessly without harming our economy or standard of living. The result is that we're now an unthinkable 15 trillion in debt.
"Some argue that we don't need to amend the Constitution for Washington to do its job. I'm proud to say I served on the Budget Committee when we produced four consecutive balanced budgets, but the sad truth is that this kind of fiscal responsibility has been all too rare in recent years. Ultimately, a balanced budget amendment will force Congress to be serious about addressing the core driver of our debt, which is the out-of-control growth of federal entitlement spending. As the President has acknowledged, no taxpayer would be willing to pay the amount required to sustain the exponential growth of entitlements, and no amount of budget gimmicks can hide this serious crisis. A balanced budget is a common sense idea that governs our personal lives, and it should also be at the heart of how Congress operates. I strongly support the balanced budget amendment, and I urge the House to pass it."