Virginia's Congressmen from the 5th and 6th districts co-sponsor Balanced Budget Amendment for the 113th United States Congress. The amendment was originally authored by Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA6) and co-sponsored by Representative Robert Hurt (R-VA5). Both Congressman have a solid history of holding government spending within its means and advancing law to assure our country continues to exercise fiscal restraint.
Here's a overview of how the Balanced Budget Amendment is structured:
- Requires that total spending for any fiscal year not exceed total receipts unless 3/5 of each chamber provides for a specific excess
- Requires a 3/5 vote for any increases in the debt limit
- Requires that the President's proposed budget to Congress be balanced each year
- Requires that legislation to increase taxes must be passed by a true majority of each chamber by a roll call vote. Current law only requires a majority of those present and voting and allows a voice vote
- Provides an exception in times of war and during military conflicts that pose imminent and serious military threats to national security, but requires that any additional spending be for that military conflict
- Provides that Congress shall enforce this amendment through appropriate legislation
- Stipulates that total outlays do not include repayment of debt and total receipts do not include those derived from borrowing
Congressman Robert Hurt made the following statement upon his announcement as co-sponsor of the Bill:
“For far too long, members of both parties have chosen the politically expedient course over what is in the best interest of our nation – casting aside meaningful proposals for deficit reduction and carrying our nation further along on a careless spending binge. As a result, we have witnessed the devastating consequences for the people of Virginia’s 5th District and those all across our country as unemployment levels have remained unacceptably high and the debt continues to grow. At a time when we are borrowing 45 cents on the dollar and rapidly adding to a more than $16 trillion debt, there is no greater duty to those we represent than to get serious about fixing this spending-driven debt crisis."
“At the beginning of the 112th Congress, the first piece of legislation that I cosponsored was a joint resolution that would amend our Constitution to include a balanced budget amendment. This amendment would set us on a path toward fiscal sustainability by requiring that the federal government not spend more than it takes in. Today, on behalf of the people of Virginia’s 5th District, I am proud to once again cosponsor the Balanced Budget Amendment in the 113th Congress. As we begin a new Congress, I do so with a continued focus on restoring our nation to fiscal sustainability. I look forward to continuing the work we in the House of Representatives have done to cut spending and I remain committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make the tough decisions necessary to preserve this great nation for our children and grandchildren.”Author of the Balance Budget Amendment for the 113th Congress, Representative Goodlatte, made this historical reference:
“Our first Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, warned of the consequences of out-of-control debt when he wrote: ‘To preserve [the] independence [of the people,] we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude.’ A balanced budget amendment to our Constitution will once and for all require Congress to rein in this out-of-control behavior.”