America's independent, non-partisan advocate for overburdened taxpayers.

Vote Alert

NTU supports the new Budget Control Act of 2011
Encourages "Yes" Votes from Congress.

July 29, 2011

With the significant strengthening of the Budget Control Act of 2011, the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) is now able to offer its conditional support of the legislation. By requiring passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) to our Constitution before any approval of the second portion of a debt ceiling increase may occur, this bill now represents a minimally acceptable compromise.

NTU previously opposed the bill because we felt it did not live up to the three principles established by the “Cut, Cap, and Balance” Coalition in which our members have been so active. It included some cuts to spending next year and expenditure caps moving forward, but by calling for a mere vote on a BBA the bill offered no assurance to taxpayers that permanent structural reforms would be tied to the issuance of trillions of dollars in new debt. Fortunately, a substantial portion of Congress agreed with that sentiment. But by linking the second “tranche” of the debt limit hike to passage and submission to the states of a Balanced Budget Amendment to our Constitution, this new version finally addresses that third principle to an extent where it no longer conflicts with NTU’s most important goal of permanent, constitutional taxpayer protections.

To be clear, our concerns with the relatively small expenditure reductions and modest spending caps remain, as does our opposition to potential tax increases from the Joint Select Committee the bill would establish. However, it is a testament to the enormous and unparalleled impact of a durable, structural reform like a Balanced Budget Amendment that we are now able to put those objections in a different, less strenuous perspective.

This plan is far from ideal and, indeed, Congress will likely need to pursue further spending reductions and reforms to avoid a damaging downgrade of our AAA credit rating. Much like the tax cut compromise we supported with serious reservations last December, this bill represents a delicate balance and we believe that the strengthening of the BBA language tips the scales in favor of the legislation in a way that was not possible for NTU in the bill’s previous iteration. The end product may not be what we would have drafted, but it represents satisfactory progress for taxpayers.

NTU supports the new version of the Budget Control Act of 2011. A “YES” vote will be considered the pro-taxpayer position in our annual Rating of Congress.

If you have any questions, please contact NTU Vice President of Government Affairs Andrew Moylan at (703) 683-5700