WASHINGTON — Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) are reintroducing an amendment to the United States Constitution that would require the federal government to balance its budget every year.
The amendment would place limitations on the federal government’s ability to raise taxes and increase the debt ceiling among other actions which the senators said present a threat to the long-term fiscal sustainability of the United States.
“For far too long, hardworking Americans have been forced to bear the burden of Congress’ inability and unwillingness to control federal overspending,” Lee said in a statement.
As our federal debt continues to rise at an alarming rate, the least we can do is require the federal government to not spend more money than it has at its disposal. We expect families, businesses, and state and local governments all to stick to their budgets and live within their means – there is no reason that the federal government should not have to follow the same set of rules,” Lee said.
“It’s the responsible thing to do,” Grassley said in the statement. “Almost every state has adopted some form of a balanced budget requirement, and it is past time that the federal government follows suit.”
The proposed amendment from Senators Lee and Grassley would require Congress to not spend any more than it collects during any fiscal year.
It would also limit spending to 18% of the gross national product, the 40-year historical average of total federal receipts.
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