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house Bill H. Joint Res. 22

Should There be a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution?

Argument in favor

The federal government has lived beyond its means for far too long, racking up a national debt exceeding $20 trillion that will have to be paid by future generations. A balanced budget amendment to the Constitution is the best way to constrain spending and get the federal budget under control.

JTJ's Opinion
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02/09/2019
Yes, but congress will never agree to spending limits. We need to bypass congress. ConventionOfStates.com
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02/09/2019
Let’s balance the budget. Repay our debt, and cut wasteful spending. If we protect our borders we can save millions and probably billions on tax money going to illegal aliens.
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John's Opinion
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02/09/2019
It is so important that we have a ballanced budget and we haven’t had one in so long that we now have to legislate it. If citizens need to balance their budgets then the government should have to balance theirs!
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Argument opposed

A balanced budget amendment would pose too much of a constraint on the federal government, preventing it from funding many vital programs because deficit spending would be difficult politically for Congress to approve. The federal government needs to tax and spend more despite the debt.

Laurie's Opinion
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02/09/2019
I would feel better about this if the first major cuts were military, billionaire tax cuts, and hush money to whistelblowers and hookers But instead they will cut Grandma's pension, medicine, food, and education to children, housing for vets and disabled, etc So NO I do not support this bill
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Mike's Opinion
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02/09/2019
Trump, Ryan and congressional republicans have added trillions to the deficit! Since the 80s, whenever the republicans are in power they run up the deficit and after they get booted out, they blame the democrats and trot out the balanced budget amendment. So predictable and so pathetic.
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Matthew's Opinion
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02/09/2019
I can see this going wrong. There needs to be massive budget overhauls. But a stop all until we balance is not the best way to do it.
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joint resolution Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedJanuary 8th, 2019

What is House Bill H. Joint Res. 22?

This resolution would propose a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, which would prohibit the federal government from spending more in a fiscal year than it receives in revenue. Expenditures on repaying debt would be excluded. Congress could only waive the balanced budget requirement or raise the public debt limit by a three-fifths roll call vote by each chamber, while a majority roll call vote by each chamber would be needed to raise taxes (no voice votes would be allowed). These requirements could be waived when a declaration of war is in effect or if there is a military conflict posing an imminent and serious threat to national security. The president would have to submit a balanced budget each year.

Because it proposes a constitutional amendment, after this resolution’s passage by two-thirds of both chambers of Congress it would have to be ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures (38 states) to amend the U.S. Constitution.

Impact

American taxpayers and the general public; the federal government; Congress; and the president.

Cost of House Bill H. Joint Res. 22

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) reintroduced this Constitutional amendment from the 115th Congress upon Rep. Bob Goodlatte's (R-VA) retirement. In the previous Congress, sponsoring Rep. Goodlatte proposed this balanced budget amendment to prevent the federal government from living beyond its means:

“Nearly 20 years ago, the U.S. Senate failed by one vote to pass a balanced budget constitutional amendment. If Congress had sent the amendment to the states for ratification in 1995, we would not be facing the fiscal crisis we are today and balancing the federal budget would be the norm rather than the exception. In order for Congress to consistently make the tough decisions necessary for fiscal responsibility, Congress must have the external pressure of a balanced budget requirement. Every Congress since 2007, I have introduced amendments that require Congress to balance the federal budget. I urge my colleagues to consider the impact that reckless spending has on our nation’s future and on future generations. We should not pass on to our children and grandchildren the bleak fiscal future that our unsustainable spending is creating. It is time for Congress to finally put an end to fiscal irresponsibility and stop saddling future future generations with crushing debts to pay for our current spending. We must rise above partisanship and join together to send a balanced budget amendment to the states for ratification.”

House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), who supported a balanced budget amendment proposal in 1995, encouraged Democrats to oppose this bill:

"Ironically, Republicans are pushing this proposal the same week in which the Congressional Budget Office released its new baseline projection showing massive new deficits resulting from Republican policies, nearly entirely from their tax law.  Under CBO’s projections, with no changes to their tax law, H.J.Res. 2 would impose a cut to federal spending larger than the entire Medicare program if it were in effect for 2019.  Even President Trump’s own budget proposal stopped short of that level of cuts. It would also make it more difficult to raise the debt limit in the future, even if a majority of Members support it. This would further promote the brinkmanship and uncertainty that has been pursued by Republicans during debt limit debates ever since they took the Majority in 2011. It would also limit Congress’ ability to respond to a national crisis, though it provides one sole exemption in the case of a declaration of war. H.J.Res. 2 is purely ideological. The United States of America has never written specific fiscal policy preferences into the Constitution, which is what this resolution seeks to do. "

In the current Congress, this legislation has the support of 27 cosponsors, all of whom are Republicans. In the previous Congress, it had the support of 51 cosponsors in the House, including 50 Republicans and one Democrat.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: tomwachs / iStock)

AKA

Proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

Official Title

Proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

    Yes, but congress will never agree to spending limits. We need to bypass congress. ConventionOfStates.com
    Like (86)
    Follow
    Share
    I would feel better about this if the first major cuts were military, billionaire tax cuts, and hush money to whistelblowers and hookers But instead they will cut Grandma's pension, medicine, food, and education to children, housing for vets and disabled, etc So NO I do not support this bill
    Like (185)
    Follow
    Share
    Trump, Ryan and congressional republicans have added trillions to the deficit! Since the 80s, whenever the republicans are in power they run up the deficit and after they get booted out, they blame the democrats and trot out the balanced budget amendment. So predictable and so pathetic.
    Like (105)
    Follow
    Share
    Let’s balance the budget. Repay our debt, and cut wasteful spending. If we protect our borders we can save millions and probably billions on tax money going to illegal aliens.
    Like (51)
    Follow
    Share
    I can see this going wrong. There needs to be massive budget overhauls. But a stop all until we balance is not the best way to do it.
    Like (50)
    Follow
    Share
    Considering the first instinct of Republicans in Congress is to cut spending on useful social programs without raising taxes to compensate, I'd have to say I don't support this legislation.
    Like (32)
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    It is so important that we have a ballanced budget and we haven’t had one in so long that we now have to legislate it. If citizens need to balance their budgets then the government should have to balance theirs!
    Like (32)
    Follow
    Share
    I absolutely don’t support or endorse a balanced budget amendment to the constitution. Every time the Republican win they whine about the deficit all the while piling up record breaking debt. Reagan broke all records for debt, then George W just like Reagan broke all previous records and now Trump is doing the same thing — in just 2 years he has just like his conservative predecessors amassed more debt than all the presidents in the history of America. The only balanced budget we’ve had was by the Democrat Clinton. Don’t believe it look it up. Also, contrary to popular conservative myth Obama brought down George W’s debt. Trump ran it back up and eclipsed what was there when he started also eclipsing every previous president in history— not just Obama. All an amendment would would do is provide the perfect pretext to gut all the social programs that conservatives hate — as they continue to propagandize the trickledown fraud. Come on people awaken and resist.
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    Republicans caused the huge deficit with tax cuts for the wealthy and businesses. Also adding to the deficit are the security expenses for Trump’s golf trips and his family’s overseas businesses. And so they want to fix things by balancing the budget by cutting Social Security, which adds nothing to the deficit, and Medicare and Medicaid. Just say no.
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    Historically, it has been necessary on an emergency basis such as war or economic decline to go into debt to fund the military or prevent economic decline from worsening and causing greater hardship for people. Such an amendment would reduce the government’s ability to respond to these situations, taking potentially effective options off the table. I think it’s a bad idea, especially since due to the tax reform package of 2018 which has added trillions to our deficit means less financial maneuvering room because more of our gross domestic product will go to service our debt leaving less money available in an emergency. For those who want a cut in military spending, go read the Pulitzer winning Pro Publica recent article on the Navy. I don’t think the described circumstances exist only n the Navy.
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    The ruthlessness of #45 and his so-called Republicans knows no bounds. After gratuitously cutting taxes for those who are already rolling in money—now they want helpless seniors and orphans to suffer even more? The assault on our freedoms, our survival reminds me of Russia. A man who hires laborers he doesn’t pay has no business in the Oval Office. A man who demonized immigrants without documents, knowingly employs them, then callously fires them when his illegal and immoral actions are revealed and minions who support corruption and destruction are not leaders, but rather a mob. I am struggling to keep myself and my family fed and sheltered now. We will be destroyed if Social Security is cut. No!
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    First, there should be an equal rights amendment. Until women are equal under constitutional law, this country will continue to sink.
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    I have to balance my budget! The Government needs to be responsible to the people. YES THERE SHOULD BE AN AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION TO BALANCE THE BUDGET, If this is what it takes to make them responsible to Citizens!!!
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    Congress has lost the ability to tell the difference between a Million, a Billion, and a Trillion. They vote for things that poll well, and will get them re-elected without giving a thought to how they’d pay for it. We need smaller government, more responsible government, and NOT CAREER POLITICIANS!
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    This will not work until the tax structure is changed so that the wealthy and businesses pay their fair share of taxes.
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    Yes, the government needs to spend no more than they take in and that doesn’t mean increasing taxes. Also term limits for Congress would help a lot too. Stop special interests.
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    How about a amendment that pins our military spending to 1% of the GDP? Or maybe 5% of the federal budget? How about a amendment that our federal government can’t cook the account books by swapping budget lines around and that every dept. MUST BE ABLE TO COMPLETE A AUDIT? How about the equal rights amendment? Or the Voting Rights Act? There is a lot of things the so-called “conservative” could be doing that would actually be “conservative” rather than this austerity scam they keep trying to foist off on us. Trickledown economics is just piss and supply side economics is too. Reagan definitively proved that the deficit doesn’t matter. I’m so tired of the old Republicans wheezing lies. It’s like hearing the same stupid story from a crabby old uncle for the billionth time. The government is not a person, not a household, and not a business. The federal budget is not like your f’ing checkbook. Those methods don’t apply. Just let that myth die already.
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    Yes. This is simply a family budget on a much grander scale. Balance it. Make the difficult choices about what to cut when shortfalls exist. Sock some loot away for investing and when there’s a surplus. LEAD or get out of the way and let someone who will lead step in.
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    This is just a sneaky attempt to take money and programs away from those who need it. Tax the richest more and big business. No caps on estate and inheritance taxes. Politicians should receive same benefits as the people do. Stop loopholes for the rich.
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    ?WHY NOT PASS A BALANCED FEDERAL BUDGET? The federal government has lived beyond its means for far too long, racking up a national debt exceeding $20 trillion that will have to be paid by future generations. A balanced budget amendment to the Constitution is the best way to constrain spending and get the federal budget under control. SneakyPete.......... 👍🏻🇺🇸👍🏻🇺🇸🙀. 2*10*19.........
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