WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Martha Roby (R-Ala.) today filed H.J. Res. 114, legislation to amend the U.S. Constitution that, if passed and ratified, would require Congress to annually pass a balanced budget. Roby has introduced similar legislation each Congress since being elected.
“For far too long our federal government has operated far beyond its means. It is irresponsible and dangerous to continue down this fiscal path,” Roby said. “American families balance their budgets. Businesses balance their budgets. Most states and local governments have no choice but to balance their budgets. With more than 19 trillion dollars in federal debt, it is past time that Congress and the President were constitutionally required to balance our budget.”
Roby’s proposal would:
- Prohibit federal expenditures from exceeding federal revenues within the same fiscal year and 20 percent of the gross domestic product for the preceding calendar year;
- Require the President to submit to Congress an on time, proposed federal budget in which total outlays do not exceed total revenues received by the United States;
- Provide an exception for times of congressionally-declared war and authorize suspension of prohibitions by a concurrent resolution approved by a three-fifths vote of the Senate and a two-thirds vote of the House.
Roby’s action comes as the House Judiciary Committee holds hearings about legislative solutions to solve the debt crisis, including balanced budget amendments. Roby is a member of the House Judiciary Committee.