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Public Statements

Proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BUCHANAN. Mr. Speaker, this is an historic opportunity. For the first time in 16 years, the House will vote on a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

Just this week our national debt surpassed $15 trillion. For too long Republicans and Democrats have turned a blind eye to our government's financial mess. Washington needs to make the tough choices necessary to balance the budget for the sake of our children and grandchildren.

The Federal Government has balanced its budget only five times in the last 50 years. This is unacceptable. The first bill I introduced in Congress was the constitutional balanced budget amendment in 2007. It simply requires the Federal Government to live within its means.

Forty-nine out of 50 States, including my home State of Florida, have to balance their budgets. Florida, the last 4 or 5 years, has had tough revenue years like everybody else, but they've balanced their budget. In fact, when we got downgraded by the S&P, that same week Florida got upgraded by their credit rating.

Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, may have put it best when he said ``the biggest threat we have to our national security is our debt.'' And Erskine Bowles, cochair of the President's debt commission, said ``the debt is like a cancer; it's going to destroy the country from within.'' They're right. And the time is right for Congress to ratify a balanced budget amendment and send it to the States.


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