Congressman Ben McAdams has introduced a bill that proposes a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, saying it is time for a serious discussion about the federal government’s alarming and irresponsible budget deficits.
“At a time when we face $1 trillion annual deficits, and both parties punt on even trying to pass a budget blueprint, we need to consider a new structure to force fiscal discipline,” said McAdams. “With this bill, I’m saying let’s stop ignoring the issue and start talking about how to address it.”
McAdams said the measure would amend the U.S. Constitution to prohibit the federal government from spending more than it receives in any given fiscal year with exceptions for times of war or recession. It also generally prohibits a court from enforcing the requirement by ordering cuts to Social Security or Medicare payments. The measure also requires the President to submit a balanced budget to Congress each fiscal year.
“The President’s fiscal year 2020 budget would add more than $10 trillion to the debt, when accounting gimmicks are removed, according to nonpartisan budget experts,” said McAdams. “Democrats and Republicans continue to vote for policies that increase our future debt burden, with no offsets. This is a bipartisan problem in both the legislative and executive branches, and it must end.”
McAdams said with debt already at massive levels and interest payments on the debt set to become the largest government expenditure within the next 30 years, a serious effort to reform the budget process is imperative.
McAdams is the first House Democrat to introduce a Balanced Budget Amendment this Congress. The legislation has been endorsed by the House Blue Dog Coalition, a group of 27 fiscally-responsible Democrats dedicated to the financial stability and national security of the country. McAdams serves as co-chair of the Blue Dog Task Force on Fiscal Responsibility and Government Reform. In addition to McAdams, the legislation is cosponsored by 10 members of the Blue Dog Coalition.