Bill Cosponsored by Amash Cuts Deficit, Calls for Balanced Budget
On Tuesday night, the House passed H.R. 2560, the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act of 2011. The bill, cosponsored by U.S. Rep. Justin Amash (MI-03), cuts the federal deficit and calls for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. It passed the House with a 234-190 vote.
"It's irresponsible for Congress to put our children and grandchildren deeper into debt," said Amash. "Our long-term prosperity depends on the federal government reining in debt, and that starts with balancing the budget."
The bill limits 2012 spending to $82 billion less than current spending levels, and it caps overall federal spending as a percentage of GDP, bringing it to less than 20 percent of GDP by 2017. The bill provides for a debt ceiling increase if and only if Congress sends a constitutional balanced budget amendment to the states for a vote.
"The most critical part of the bill is that it ties a debt ceiling increase to a constitutional balanced budget amendment," said Amash. "A constitutional balanced budget amendment would shatter Washington's culture of spend-now, pay-later."
The bill is the House's alternative to a Senate plan that would give the President the power to raise the debt ceiling unilaterally. The plan, promoted by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), allows Congress to overturn the President's increase in debt only if two-thirds of each house approves. The plan requests the President propose spending cuts and delegates the decision to make cuts to a committee of congressmen.
"Punting these critical decisions to the President or to another committee does not show leadership and is not why I was elected to Congress. The Cut, Cap, and Balance Act shows that House Republicans are willing to lead by addressing the deficit," concluded Amash. "The greatest threat to the creditworthiness of the United States is if Congress fails to gain control of the federal government's reckless spending. We must make the difficult decisions now to avoid the dire consequences of unmanageable debt."