Proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution

Floor Speech

Date: Nov. 17, 2011
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. MEEHAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for yielding.

One trillion $1 bills. We're talking about trying to make sense of a trillion dollars. If they were stacked on top of each other, they would reach nearly 68,000 miles into the sky, about a third of the way from the Earth to the Moon. As of yesterday, our national debt was 15 times that $1 trillion.

Fifteen years ago the balanced budget amendment passed the House with bipartisan support, only to lose by one vote in the Senate. Since that time, our Nation's debt has grown $9.2 trillion more.

Every day families make tough decisions in order to live within their means. But when it comes to our country's bank account, both parties in Washington simply don't practice these responsible habits.

It is wrong for us to accumulate this mounting debt that we know we're never going to repay. Instead, we expect our children and our grandchildren to do so. It's our obligation to pass on the blessings of liberty, not a crushing debt to our posterity.

A certain way to ensure that is that Congress and the President will not allow the U.S. to be driven further into debt, and that is to pass an amendment to the Constitution forcing our government to balance the budget each year. Promising to make cuts in Federal spending is one thing, but an amendment to the Constitution demanding it is quite another.

A balanced budget would legally force Congress to spend only what it takes in, and it protects taxpayers and small businesses from the threat of higher taxes to cover Washington's spending habits. This will be for a better future for our children and our Nation.