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Public Statements

Proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. FARR. Madam Speaker, I rise today in strong opposition to the Balanced Budget Amendment. The purpose of Congress is to serve the American people and this Amendment is an unforgiveable disservice to our constituents. Let's look at the facts: the American people want jobs. But this amendment would destroy some 15 million jobs, double unemployment, and contract the economy by an estimated 17%. The American people want security. But this amendment requires draconian cuts to critical lifelines like Medicare, Social Security, and veterans' benefits. The American people want a future for their children. But this amendment blocks investments in education and infrastructure, elevates the risk of federal default, and as Reagan's Economic Advisor Bruce Bartlett said would unquestionably cause another recession. But here's the one thing this Amendment would do for the American people: reinforce their belief that Congress can't get anything good done.

This legislative body is better than that. And it is better than this amendment, which is nothing more than political theater. And at a time of 9% unemployment and a contracted economy, there is no excuse to waste taxpayer dollars on petty political gamesmanship.

Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment and get down to the serious legislative business of restoring order to our fiscal house. I have joined with many of my Democratic colleagues in fighting to stabilize the economy, create jobs, and build a better future for our children and grandchildren. And I will not stop this fight until we have rebuilt our economy so that the men and women of America can get back to work.


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