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Press Release

Nation’s Oldest Taxpayer Group Laments House Failure to Pass Balanced Budget Amendment, Vows Renewed Effort

For Immediate Release November 18, 2011
Douglas Kellogg, (703) 683-5700
Andrew Moylan Pete Sepp, (703) 683-5700

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(Alexandria, VA) – Today, H.J. Res. 2, the Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) introduced by Rep. Goodlatte (R-VA) fell short in the U.S. House of Representatives by a 261-165 vote, narrowly missing the 284 votes required to pass. National Taxpayers Union (NTU) Vice President of Government Affairs Andrew Moylan offered the following comments upon news of the decision:

“Taxpayers and concerned citizens across the nation will be disappointed with Congress’ failure to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment. The BBA enjoys support from over 70% Americans, and approximately 50% of Democratic voters. Unfortunately, Congress failed to vote in similar proportions, as only 12 percent of House Democrats supported the measure.

“At a time of unprecedented fiscal peril for our government, we cannot afford to continue down our current path of unsustainable spending and debt, any longer. Had the Balanced Budget Amendment efforts of the 1990s not come just one vote short, it is likely that our national debt would be on the order of $10 trillion smaller than it is today. Given Congress’ repeated failures to control the budget, and the patently absurd excuses opponents offered today for not setting a more rational course, it is clearer than ever before that the BBA is our only long-term option to rein in the government’s fiscal recklessness.

“Despite this setback, there is good reason for optimism. This BBA vote flew under the radar as obsession with Presidential politics, the Super Committee, and passage of another bloated spending package took hold. Even with such hurdles, and the defection of four Republicans, H.J. Res 2 earned a solid 261 votes. NTU will build on these positives, and re-double its efforts to pass a BBA, for the sake of the current generation of taxpayers as well as future ones.” 

NTU has served as a leading organization on behalf of a BBA for more than three decades. Its activities have ranged from grassroots mobilization, media advertising, and testimony before Congress to activating State Legislatures for proposing a BBA through the method provided in Article V of the U.S. Constitution. More information on NTU’s work, is available at