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Ms. JENKINS. I thank the gentlelady for yielding, and I thank you for your leadership on this important issue.
As a CPA who spent nearly two decades helping American families chart their way toward fiscal responsibility, I can tell you that if you want to get serious about getting your finances in order, then the very first thing you have to do is balance your budget. If we want to see our economy moving again, if we want to see the job market growing again, if we want to ensure that we remain the most powerful and prosperous nation on Earth, then we must balance our budget.
Yet if we've learned one thing over the past few years, it's that we can't expect Washington to balance its books on its own. To really force the tough spending decisions and to ensure we spend our money as efficiently as possible, we must require that Washington balance its budget. To put it frankly, America needs a balanced budget amendment. We came close 16 years ago; but since then, our national debt has grown from $4 trillion to $15 trillion. We're facing a crisis. We need a balanced budget amendment, and we need it now.
But if you don't want to take my word for it, you can take the word of our colleagues from across the aisle who, in the past few years, have said things like this: ``The issue of balancing the budget is not a conservative or liberal one, nor is it an easy one; but it is an essential one.'' Or again, I quote a friend from across the aisle, ``I'm proud to be part of a coalition that is actively working to begin putting our country back on secure economic footing. The balanced budget amendment won't achieve that all by itself, but it will help ensure that we don't repeat the mistakes that helped create our current situation.'' And finally, again, I quote a friend from across the aisle, ``This amendment would send a strong signal to the financial markets, U.S. businesses, and the American people that we are serious about stabilizing our economy for the long term.'' And what did the Democrat leadership say about this very issue in past years? They said they would welcome it. But what are they saying today? No. They're whipping against it.
It is time for our friends across the aisle to put our children before their politics. Stop fighting this landmark achievement out of sheer partisan spite, and do the right things. We all need to support this measure not because it's easy, but we need to show the courage because this is what matters. So let's come together to take a stand for fiscal responsibility, show our kids and grandkids that we cherish their future, and pass the balanced budget amendment.
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