The U.S. House of Representatives this week will vote on whether to pass a Constitutional Balanced Budget Amendment. Jaime Herrera Beutler is a strong supporter who pledged to advance a Balanced Budget Amendment prior to becoming Southwest Washington's U.S. Representative, and cosponsored this specific bipartisan joint resolution during her first month in Congress.
A Constitutional Balanced Budget Amendment would require that Congress not spend more than it takes in revenues each year. The specific measure that will be considered, H.J. Res. 2, has now earned 242 cosponsors from both parties, ranging from Peter DeFazio (D-OR) to Dave Reichert (R-WA). In 1995, a similar Constitutional Amendment fell short of passage by only one vote in the U.S. Senate.
When Congress and the President reached an agreement to raise the debt ceiling in early August of 2011, one of the stipulations was that Congress would have the opportunity to vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment. This condition was a significant factor in Jaime's decision to support the deal.
The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on this measure later this week.
"The folks in Southwest Washington understand that out-of-control federal debt severely hampers our hopes for economic growth and new job creation," said Herrera Beutler. "Virtually every state in the union lives under a Balanced Budget mechanism, and I believe the federal government should do the same. Consider how a hardworking family with burdensome credit card bills and debt must stop the digging to restore stability and prosperity to its household. Washington, DC is no different. It's time we started acting responsibly and guided our country to recovery."
* Our national debt is currently more than $14.7 trillion -- and growing.
* Polling shows that a vast majority of Americans (74%) favor an amendment requiring the federal government to balance its budget (Source: CNN/ORC July 18-20, 2011).