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Public Statements

Proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. BERKLEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to this dangerous balanced budget constitutional amendment. We all agree that we must get America's fiscal house in order by cutting spending and balancing our budget. Nevada families know this. Families across Nevada are doing it by tightening their belts and making great sacrifices. The United States Government should be able to do the same.

However, this balanced budget amendment is wrong for Nevada and it's wrong for the rest of the country. It would force massive cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and veterans benefits, but big oil companies and corporations that ship jobs overseas aren't asked to sacrifice one penny under this balanced budget amendment. That's just not right. But this is what the American people have come to expect from this Congress.

Washington Republicans supported a radical budget proposal, the Ryan budget, that kills Medicare by turning it over to private insurance companies. Now they are supporting a plan that slashes Social Security and Medicare benefits that seniors rely on. It's a question of priorities.

I strongly believe that we need to get our deficit under control, and I believe that a version of the balanced budget amendment could be one way to achieve that. But I cannot and I will not support a balanced budget amendment that doesn't include ironclad protections for Social Security, Medicare, and veterans benefits. We should not be balancing our Nation's budget on the backs of our seniors and our vets.

This balanced budget amendment may be good politics for some, but it is not good policy for America. I urge my colleagues to join me in voting ``no'' on this attack on our seniors and our veterans.


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