Congressman Bob Goodlatte issued the following statement upon today's announcement that Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has introduced legislation, with the full support of all 47 Republican members of the Senate, requiring the federal government to balance the budget.
"I applaud Senator Hatch and the Republican members of the Senate for introducing legislation to require the federal government to balance the budget. I am extremely encouraged by the growing support in both chambers for this legislation. With nearly half the Senate supporting Senator Hatch's legislation, over 125 Members of the House supporting H.J. Res 1, companion legislation that I introduced in the opening hours of this Congress, and nearly half the House of Representatives supporting H.J. Res 2, legislation that I also introduced which has previously passed the House, we are making huge strides in our effort to hold the federal government accountable and ensuring that the money our citizens work so hard to earn is not squandered on wasteful spending and programs.
Washington has a spending addiction and it has proven to be an addiction that Congress cannot control on its own and which is bringing dire consequences. We have gone in a few short years from a deficit of billions of dollars to a deficit of trillions of dollars. The government is borrowing money at an unprecedented pace, which presents serious risks of massive inflation. Our national debt recently surpassed an astonishing $14 trillion and continues to rapidly increase, along with the waste associated with paying the interest on that debt.
A balanced budget amendment is a commonsense measure that is long overdue. Our federal government must be lean, efficient and responsible with the dollars that our nation's citizens worked so hard to earn. We must work to both eliminate every cent of waste and squeeze every cent of value out of each dollar our citizens entrust to us. Families all across our nation understand what it means to make tough decisions each day about what they can and cannot afford and government officials should be required to exercise similar restraint when spending the hard-earned dollars of our nation's citizens."
Congressman Goodlatte has long been a strong supporter of a Constitutional amendment requiring the federal government to balance the budget. He is the sponsor of H.J. Res 1, bipartisan legislation that 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 3/5 majority; and (3) establish an annual spending cap such that total federal spending could not exceed 1/5 of the economic output of the United States. Additionally, he has introduced H.J. Res 2, which simply requires that total spending for any fiscal year not exceed total receipts. Both H.J. Res 1 and H.J. Res 2 have been referred to the House Judiciary Committee on which Congressmen Goodlatte serves as a senior Member.