Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today announced that he has signed on to bipartisan legislation that would amend the US Constitution to require the federal government to balance its budget, so government spending cannot exceed revenue.
The proposal, known as the Business Cycle Balanced Budget Amendment (H.J. Res. 81), was written by Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash (MI-03). It would base annual federal spending on the previous three years of government revenue. In the event of a national emergency such as war or natural disaster, a two-thirds vote of Congress could exempt temporary spending for specific reasons from the limits. The legislation also provides that the amendment be phased in over 10 years following ratification.
Braley said, "It's a simple concept that would revolutionize the way our government does business. States must balance their budgets; families must balance their checkbooks. Why shouldn't the federal government?
Braley continued, "The bipartisan balanced budget amendment I've signed onto today will rein in the federal deficit while ensuring America isn't left vulnerable in a national emergency. It's the game-changer we need to get our fiscal house in order, protect our economic recovery, and set the stage for future prosperity."
Rep. Justin Amash said, "This bill is simple, bipartisan, and common sense, and I'm proud that Bruce has joined me in this effort. Our long-term prosperity depends on the federal government reining in debt, and that starts with balancing the budget."
The Business Cycle Balanced Budget Amendment currently has 55 Democratic and Republican cosponsors.