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house Bill H. Joint Res. 14

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

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Official Title

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


Constitutional Amendment This joint resolution proposes a constitutional amendment prohibiting total outlays for a fiscal year from exceeding total receipts for that fiscal year unless Congress authorizes the excess by a three-fifths roll call vote of each chamber. The prohibition excludes outlays for repayment of debt principal and receipts derived from borrowing. The amendment prohibits total outlays for any fiscal year from exceeding one-fifth of the economic output of the United States, unless two-thirds of each house of Congress provides for a specific increase above this amount. The amendment requires a three-fifths roll call vote of each chamber of Congress to increase the public debt limit or to increase revenue. It also requires the President to submit a balanced budget to Congress annually. Congress is authorized to waive these requirements when a declaration of war is in effect or if the United States is engaged in a military conflict which causes an imminent and serious military threat to national security.

joint resolution Progress

  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      The Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedJanuary 4th, 2017
    This sounds like a good idea at face value, but we have to look at it realistically. A balanced budget can't be constitutionally mandated because there are times when it's in the best interest of the economy not to have one. Our government needs the ability to deficit spend in times of economic crisis to stimulate the economy, like we did during the Depression. Without that ability, we lack the means to respond to and solve such crises. What's more, is Congress has the power to balance the budget on their own. They shouldn't need an amendment forcing them to do their job. A balanced budget amndt would do more harm than good.
    This bill sets a series of budgetary rules to enforce balanced budgeting, using arbitrary cutoffs. If this did pass, it would mostly serve to be a weapon used to cut funding from programs funded by appropriations, which includes most social services programs. This is a silly, bad bill. Full text: