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It is no secret that the American people are facing a very tough economic climate. Our economy remains sluggish, people fear losing their jobs and their homes, and many are worried about the future their children and grandchildren will inherit. They are deeply concerned about the outlook for our great country and wonder if their children will grow up in the same America they did. People are looking for real solutions to the problems we face.
For this reason, as my first official act of the new Congress I introduced a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. My legislation, which already has the support of over 180 bipartisan Members, ensures that the federal government is held accountable and that the money our citizens work so hard to earn is not squandered on wasteful spending and programs. Specifically, the legislation forces Congress to enact fiscally responsible spending measures and reduce the deficit by requiring that total spending for any fiscal year not exceed total receipts. Families all across our nation understand what it means to make tough decisions each day about what they can and cannot afford and government officials should be required to exercise similar restraint when spending the hard-earned dollars of our nation’s citizens. With forty-nine out of fifty state governments, including Virginia, required to balance their state budgets, people are amazed that the federal government is not restrained in this way and strongly support a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
In addition, I was pleased to introduce another Constitutional amendment that has three parts. This resolution would amend the Constitution to require that total spending for any fiscal year not exceed total receipts, require that bills to raise revenues pass each House of Congress by a 3/5 majority and establish an annual spending cap such that total federal spending could not exceed 1/5 of the economic output of the United States. The bill would also require a 3/5 majority vote for any increases in the debt limit.
As our nation faces many difficult decisions, Congress will face great pressure to spend beyond its means rather than making difficult decisions about spending priorities. Just this week, President Obama delivered his official State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress where he called for billions of dollars in new spending. It is these reckless spending policies that have had such a chilling effect on our national economy. I remain committed to advancing policies, such as a balanced budget Constitutional amendment, that help our federal government to be lean, efficient and responsible with the dollars that our nation’s citizens worked so hard to earn. It is the only way to ensure the future growth of our economy.
To contact me about this or any other matter, please visit my website at www.goodlatte.house.gov.