U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, PA-11, was proud to vote for H.J. Res. 2, "Proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States."
"Today is a very sad day for all Americans. Only in Washington would members of Congress clap and cheer when a Balanced Budget Amendment is defeated. The United States of America is now more than $15 trillion in debt, and my colleagues who voted against the Balanced Budget Amendment want to maintain their business-as-usual spendathon and jeopardize the futures of our children and grandchildren. It's disgusting," Rep. Barletta said. "Today, I tried to make sure the federal government lives within its means. A Balanced Budget Amendment would have forced the government to scale back its out-of-control spending and draft its budget the same way millions of American families do each and every day. Unfortunately, career politicians in Washington decided they shouldn't have to play by the same rules American families do. Those who voted against the Balanced Budget Amendment have a lot of explaining to do to the American people."
Rep. Barletta cosponsored the Balanced Budget Amendment resolution that was voted on Friday. A Balanced Budget Amendment would prohibit the federal government from spending more than it takes in. It would make it harder for Congress to raise taxes. It would require a three-fifths vote by both the House and the Senate to raise the debt ceiling. Congress could waive provisions in the amendment in times of serious military conflict.
A Balanced Budget Amendment must be approved by two-thirds of the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate, then it must be ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures. It would not take effect until 2017, or two years after it is ratified by the last state legislature, whichever is later.
"This week, our national debt topped $15 trillion for the first time ever. Since President Obama took office, that national debt grew by 41 percent, or $4.4 trillion. It's been more than 925 days since the Senate passed a federal budget. Time and time again, Washington has proven that it cannot be trusted with our money. Friday was the chance for the people to take away the taxpayer-funded credit card, but politicians put their own selfish interests ahead of the American people," Rep. Barletta added. "This is why the people at home sent me to Washington -- to make sure we get our fiscal house in order. Unfortunately, many of my colleagues didn't get the same message."
This is the same Balanced Budget Amendment that passed the U.S. House in 1995 -- which failed to get the two-thirds vote in the U.S. Senate by one vote.