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Public Statements

Proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. MULVANEY. Madam Speaker, I have enjoyed sitting here listening to the arguments against this amendment. They range from the bizarre to the completely incredible. We've heard it's not 1985. I wish it were and that the deficit were only $5 trillion. Imagine what the world would have been like if we could have accomplished this 15 years ago.

I have heard that we don't need this amendment to do our job against the backdrop of only being able to do it four times in the last 50 years. That argument simply does not pass the laugh test. I heard just a few moments ago from the honorable minority leader that this was not the right time to pass this amendment because somehow this body was too partisan, too partisan to pass an amendment to the Constitution that would take partisanship out of the equation and force us to balance the budget. These are all extraordinarily weak arguments, Madam Speaker, and they are weak because they do not go to the heart of the matter of why you would be against this amendment.

There's only one reason to be against this amendment. The only true argument against this amendment is that you want to continue to spend money that we don't have, and there are people in this Chamber who believe that is the way that they keep their jobs, that if we continue to run up debt, that if we continue to spend money that we don't have, that somehow back in their district it will encourage their voters to send them back to this Chamber.

Madam Speaker, I believe there are more important things than our jobs. There are more important things than simply remaining a Member of Congress. More so than any amendment, any bill that we will take up this year, this amendment is the opportunity that we have to send a message to the people back home that we are willing to do what is right, that we're willing to stand up for them and to give them the opportunity to change the Constitution of the United States in a way that they see fit.


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