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Congress Should Embrace Every Opportunity to Address Spending Crisis

by Nan Swift / /

NTU urges all Representatives to vote “YES” on H.J. Res. 2, a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) to the U.S. Constitution. This legislation would take an important step toward establishing the type of inviolable fiscal rule necessary to constrain our growing debt and federal government.

For 49 years, NTU has supported several versions of a BBA, along with other statutory fiscal rules that would provide sturdy guardrails for federal budgeting. At no time has it been more urgent for Congress to take action and seriously address the need for fiscal restraint. On the heels of the recently enacted budget-busting Bipartisan Budget Act and omnibus for Fiscal Year 2018, the Congressional Budget Office’s latest Budget and Economic Outlook paints a dire picture of runaway spending, growing deficits, and federal debt reaching 100 percent of GDP in only ten years.

Congress has repeatedly demonstrated that it lacks the political willpower to make the tough decisions necessary to address our spending crisis; decisions that grow harder by the day as the window for modest reform shrinks. For that reason, it’s essential that Congress become subject to firm restrictions that help clarify these tradeoffs, make it harder to brush-off mounting debt, and ultimately put our budget on a path to sustainability.

The BBA embodies the fundamental maxim all families wrestle with: Don’t spend more than you earn. This is a commonsense, practically universal principle that deserves broad support. At the same time, the sheer magnitude of our fiscal problems requires that Congress pursue every option to rein in spending, both on the programmatic scale and in terms of structural reforms, such as those being considered by the Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform. Every available tool should be applied to this urgent task, including the support of a strong BBA.

Roll call votes on H.J. Res. 2 will be included in our annual Rating of Congress and a “YES” vote will be considered the pro-taxpayer position.