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Public Statements

Proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. KINGSTON. I thank the gentleman from Virginia.

An amendment to the United States Constitution should never be taken lightly. It is a sacred and profound document. Well, 15 years ago when Mr. Goodlatte and I and a number of others first came to town, we voted to amend that Constitution. We were joined not only by all of the Republicans but by 72 Democrats. Now some of those very 72 who voted ``yes'' have changed their minds. We're hearing the same old arguments: Social Security and Medicare. When all else goes wrong in Democrat liberal land, you start scaring seniors, children, teachers, first responders, critical programs, and saying whatever the bill is, this bill threatens them. Well, the worst thing you could do to Social Security and Medicare is to go broke. And since that vote 15 years ago when it failed in the Senate by one single Member, we have accumulated $9.2 trillion in debt.

Balancing the budget is what 49 States do, what every city does, what businesses and families do. It's a matter of survival. It's not a radical concept. Oh, don't the people in Greece wish that they had a balanced budget all those many years? And what of their Social Security and Medicare programs right now? What will happen to the seniors in Greece without those critical programs?

If their government had done the prudent thing, the right thing, just as we tried to do 15 years ago, what a different picture it would be in Greece. But Greece is not alone in trying to defy the laws of financial gravity. America seems to be doing it. For every dollar we spend, 40 cents is borrowed. And yet we are choosing to ignore all the many red flags that are around us. But when the whole thing goes broke and melts down, won't our children say, What were you thinking?


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