Just give us some time. That has been NTU’s simple plea to House leadership as we, along with other members of the “Cut, Cap and Balance” coalition, attempt to spread the word about a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) to the Constitution. It now appears that House leadership is willing to give it to us.
With Washington on a collision course with the debt ceiling, there is no better, or more appropriate, time to enact lasting structural reforms to prevent a debt crisis. Chief among those reforms is a BBA that will protect taxpayers from the threat of Washington’s spending habits. Washington has run deficits 50 out of the last 54 years – a trend that must come to an end if we want to stave off default.
The enormity of the problems made conservative activists wary of House leadership’s seeming intent to give only passing consideration to a Balanced Budget Amendment. As NTU’s Andrew Moylan wrote in a recent op-ed,
“After last week’s hasty markup of a balanced budget amendment proposal in the House Judiciary Committee, the chatter on Capitol Hill is that Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) are pushing for a quick vote before the grass roots has a chance to speak up. This is a disappointing, deliberate effort to undermine the proposal.
Scheduling such a vote anytime in the next few weeks would be a sure sign that House leaders are ignoring the millions of fiscal conservatives that helped elect the Republican majority.”
To their credit, it appears House leadership have heeded the warning and are willing to give the grassroots time to activate before a BBA comes to the floor. “House Republicans have made clear that we will not agree to raise the debt limit without real spending cuts and biding budget process reforms to ensure that we don’t continue to max out the credit card,” Majority Leader Eric Cantor said in a statement. “One option to ensure that we begin to get our fiscal house in order is a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, and I expect to schedule such a measure during the week of July 25th.”
Speaker of the House John Boehner has also joined the chorus pushing for not just spending cuts, but lasting reforms such as a BBA. Today, Speaker Boehner said that any proposal to raise the debt limit must include spending cuts that “exceed the amount of the debt limit hike” and reforms that “restrict Washington’s ability to spend in the future.”
We have been given a month before a BBA vote, time which will allow the growing “Cut, Cap and Balance” coalition time to gain momentum as we work towards our three step approach of immediate and substantial spending cuts, an enforceable statutory spending cap, and a strong Balanced Budget Amendment. This comprehensive plan will not only stave off the threat of a debt crisis in the short-term, but will permanently ensure that we never again face the crushing deficit burdens of the past few years.
The fight is far from over. It is now up to us, as members of the grassroots, to make this next month worthwhile. So as we near a vote we encourage you to do two things:
1. Call your Congressmen and Senators TODAY and encourage them to support all of the tenets of the Cut, Cap and Balance plan as a condition of any increase in the debt limit. As Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) says, “If they feel the heat, they will see the light.” You can reach any member of Congress by calling the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121. To find your Congressmen, click here and enter your zip code at the top right of the screen.
2. Sign the Cut, Cap and Balance pledge and spread the word on Facebook and Twitter. You can sign it at http://www.CutCapBalancePledge.com
Republican leadership, including Speaker of the House John Boehner and Leader Cantor have given us time to gather support for a BBA. Let’s prove to them we deserve it.