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NTU Hails House Committee’s Markup of Constitutional Amendment for Balanced Budget; Urges All-Out Effort from Leaders for Enactment.
June 8, 2011
By Pete Sepp
For Immediate Release
(Washington, DC) – The House Judiciary Committee’s markup of a Constitutional Amendment to require a balanced budget and limit the growth of government has earned enthusiastic applause from the 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU) – along with NTU’s urgent plea for Congressional leaders to build a bipartisan consensus for successful votes on the Amendment in both the House and Senate.
“The House Judiciary Committee has reached a major milestone toward making prudent fiscal discipline a principle of our U.S. Constitution,” said NTU Executive Vice President Pete Sepp. “Now Members of Congress and their leaders in both parties must take the next steps together in this vital journey to restore limited, accountable government.”
Although NTU supports several Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) proposals, Sepp noted that the Judiciary Committee’s revisions to H.J. Res. 1 (sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and 133 others) help harmonize the legislation with a BBA sponsored by all 47 Republican Senators. As marked-up by the Committee, H.J. Res.1 would now require a balanced federal budget in peacetime conditions unless two-thirds of both chambers authorize a specific deficit. In addition, lawmakers could not boost expenditures beyond 18 percent of Gross Domestic Product or increase taxes without two-thirds “supermajority” consent.
Last month NTU Vice President for Government Affairs Andrew Moylan testified in favor of a BBA before the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution. In discussing the merits of several approaches toward the Amendment, he said, “Opponents contend that we have never enshrined any specific economic policy in the Constitution and should not do so now. But the BBA is not an economic policy and it is not a federal budget; it is a set of guidelines within which Congress can create economic policy and a federal budget.” His testimony is only the latest in NTU’s campaign (begun in 1975) on behalf of a BBA in Congress and through state resolutions calling for a limited convention to draft such an Amendment.
“Judiciary Committee Members have crafted the most comprehensive BBA in NTU’s 35-year history of campaigning for the proposal,” Sepp concluded. “Nonetheless, without a strong commitment from leaders in both parties to make full House and Senate passage a priority, the gains made so far could be for naught. Neither this generation nor future ones can afford further delays – the BBA must move forward under a bipartisan banner whose ranks should include every lawmaker concerned about our nation’s prosperity.”
For Further Information, Contact: Pete Sepp or Doug Kellogg, (703) 683-5700
Note: For more on NTU’s work on the BBA, including Moylan’s testimony, visit www.ntu.org