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Public Statements

Proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. ROSKAM. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

There's a level of anxiety that we're all sensing back at home as people are looking at Washington, DC, for solutions, and there are various tales that are going on right now in terms of what the Joint Select Committee is going to be able to produce, and the fact of the matter is we don't know what the yield is going to be of that negotiation. That's still ongoing, and we will be dealing with that next week.

But we know what we can do right now, Madam Speaker. We can create a buoyancy and a sense of clarity and a sense of cohesiveness to seize upon a bipartisan moment, a moment that the country came close to in 1995. It came within a whisker of passing the balanced budget amendment and sending it out to the States. Over 70 House Democrats in 1995, including several of the current leaders, voted in favor of that amendment. And now here we are, and we have that opportunity to do the same thing, although, to do it successfully.

This is not about donkeys and elephants. This is ultimately about us coming together as a Congress in a thoughtful way that says one thing to the United States, and that is we can govern wisely; we can govern forthrightly; we can live within our means; and we can do what the overwhelming majority, Madam Speaker, of what the American public wants us to do, and that is to balance our budget.

I urge both sides of the aisle to shrug off the bad advice, frankly, of the Democratic leadership and to come down here in a short period of time and vote ``aye.''


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