The House Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved a balanced budget amendment (H.J. Res. 1) to the Constitution to restore fiscal responsibility and accountability to federal government spending. The proposal for a balanced budget amendment passed the Committee by a vote of 20-12.
- Requires Congress never to spend more than it takes in
- Requires a 3/5 majority vote to raise the debt ceiling, with an exception in times of national emergency
- Requires a supermajority to raise taxes
- Requires Spending as a Percentage of GDP to not Exceed 18% – Preventing Tax Increases to Balance the Budget
Speaking about passage of H.J. Res 1, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) said, “Polls show that 95% of Americans believe the deficit is a problem and that 65% of Americans are in favor of a balanced budget amendment. If we want to make permanent cuts to federal spending – cuts that cannot be undone by future Congresses – a constitutional amendment is the only answer. It is our last line of defense against Congress’ constant desire to overspend and overtax.”