Balanced Budget Amendment Summary

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Consensus Balanced Budget Amendment

Presidential Requirement to Submit a Balanced Budget

  • Prior to each fiscal year, the President must transmit to Congress a balanced budget that limits outlays to 18 percent of GDP.

Requirement to Pass a Balanced Budget

With the following limited exceptions, Congress must pass a balanced budget.

  • Requires 2/3 of both Houses for a specific deficit for a fiscal year.
  • Requires a majority of Congress for a specific deficit for a fiscal year during a declared war.
  • Requires 3/5 of Congress for a specific deficit for a fiscal year during a military conflict declared to be “an imminent and serious military threat to national security” and the deficit must be limited to “outlays…made necessary by the identified conflict.”

18 Percent Spending Cap

With the following limited exceptions, Congress must limit outlays to 18 percent of GDP.

  • Requires 2/3 of both Houses for a specific excess above 18 percent for a fiscal year.
  • Requires a majority of Congress for a specific excess above 18 percent for a fiscal year during a declared war.
  • Requires 3/5 of Congress for a specific excess above 18 percent for a fiscal year during a military conflict declared to be “an imminent and serious military threat to national security” and the excess be limited to “outlays…made necessary by the identified conflict.”

Supermajority for Tax Increases

Establishes new supermajority requirement for net tax and rate increases.

  • Requires 2/3 of both Houses for any bill “that imposes a new tax or increases the statutory rate of any tax or the aggregate amount of revenue.” (Excludes increases in revenue resulting from tax cuts.)

Supermajority to Raise the Debt Limit

Establishes new supermajority requirement for an increase in the debt limit.

  • Requires 3/5 of both Houses to increase the debt limit.
  • Requires a majority of Congress for a fiscal year during a declared war.

Congressional Enforcement and Use of Estimates

  • Provides for congressional enforcement and the use of estimates.

Limits on Courts

  • Prohibits courts from ordering revenue increases to enforce.

Effective Date

  • Becomes effective the fifth fiscal year after ratification.

One Response to “Balanced Budget Amendment Summary”

  • Win Wallace

    This week I sent this letter out as part of a petition for the balanced budget amendment. I thought I’d share it with you.

    Thanks for all you do.

    Win

    August 21, 2011

    Dear President Obama:
    Dear Representative Price:
    Dear Senator Burr:
    Dear Senator Hagan:

    I am a proud member of the Tea Party movement and TheTeaParty.net.

    Please support and advocate on behalf of a balanced budget amendment!

    Our Constitution specifies that our government exists only to serve “We the People”. However, because we the people: have failed to keep vigilant watch over our politicians, it seems that the opposite has now become the “New Norm”, and we now witness blatant misuse of governmental power which sadly, has become commonplace

    I think it is good to remember that there once was a time in America when politicians ( Presidents, included) considered their service to the U.S. as such a high privilege, that serving alone was considered reward enough in and of itself. You might remember too, that even a meager salary was not asked for or expected. (This is US History 101, and still formally taught in some schools today) They certainly didn’t ask for, as they now demand, all the perks which they have since voted to give to themselves and to those “Special interest groups” that support (ie. serve) them. (ex. NEA, Big Labor Unions, etc).

    Now that our legislators and President are enjoying all of these perks for themselves and their cronies, (ex. Cadillac pension and health care plans for their lifetimes, regardless of how long they serve in office) we are exploited in ever increasing and creative ways in order to draw still more power for themselves. They do this with the one hand, while cutting away at our liberties with the other. ( Ex. new regulations due to the global warming hoax, which thankfully is becoming exposed… Obamacare, which hopefully will be repealed or outlawed by either the legislative branch or the Supreme Court, and the tax laws, which still need to be brought into line with what American exceptionalism and equal opportunity for all is truly about (not. equal outcome for all) , and it goes on and on… )

    Don’t you think it is time for an end to all of this abuse of power by our own elected officials? Will you take one accountable step, by backing and voting for a balanced budget amendment to our Constitution? This will at least help to get our spending under control.

    America has always been the leader of the world in free enterprise , and now we have fallen so far that we have even lost our AAA rating! This has never happened before in our history. I see it as incongruous and unacceptable to not, at the very least, balance our budget each and every year going forward.

    My message to those who are serving us in Congress right now is just this:

    As a group, I consider you as I would a forest fire that is simply out of control. Burning through our tax dollars (our hard earned money) is only one example of why I think this is so. Furthermore, you have proven yourselves to be completely out of touch with who America is. You have been found lacking and unbalanced in your responses to real issues. You have imposed your own fantastical pursuits of power through legislative “solutions” which Americans have told you beforehand, and in record breaking numbers, that they simply don’t even want. Need I mention that it only added insult to injury to be told by House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi this past year, that we must have a bill passed in order to find out what’s in it? I mention this because I think it keenly illustrates how arrogant we have allowed our elected officials to become.

    However, this is not what we Americans expect when we send officials to represent us in Congress. As painful as it is to compare our Congress of the United States with the image of an out of control forest fire , caricatured with unbridled arrogance to boot, I’m afraid we have it, nonetheless.

    My thanks in advance to those of you who will support and vote for a balanced budget amendment to our Constitution. Please know that I can not support you in the next election if you would act otherwise.

    Sincerely,

    Win Wallace