By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Thursday, July 27, 2017, US Representative Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) filed a bill to introduce a new amendment to the United States Constitution requiring that the United States balance the Federal Budget.
H.J.Res. 114, would amend the US Constitution that, if passed and ratified, would require Congress to annually pass a balanced budget. Roby has introduced similar Legislation each Congress since being elected.
Congresswoman Roby said, “For far too long our Federal government has operated far beyond its means. It is irresponsible and dangerous to continue down this fiscal path.”
Rep. Roby said. “American families balance their budgets. Businesses balance their budgets. Most states and local governments have no choice but to balance their budgets. With more than 19 trillion dollars in Federal debt, it is past time that Congress and the President were constitutionally required to balance our budget.”
Roby’s proposal would prohibit federal expenditures from exceeding federal revenues within the same fiscal year and 20 percent of the gross domestic product for the preceding calendar year; Require the President to submit to Congress an on time, proposed federal budget in which total outlays do not exceed total revenues received by the United States; Provide an exception for times of congressionally-declared war and authorize suspension of prohibitions by a concurrent resolution approved by a three-fifths vote of the Senate and a two-thirds vote of the House.
The House Judiciary Committee is holding hearings about legislative solutions to solve the debt crisis, including balanced budget amendments. Rep. Roby is a member of the House Judiciary Committee.
According to the US Debt Clock Organization the US budget deficit is $673 billion. Each deficit adds to the National debt, which has grown to an incredible $19.97 trillion.
The costly Great Society era welfare programs, Medicare and Medicaid, are the biggest drivers of the budget deficit. Those two programs cost $1,186 billion a year. Social Security is second at $934 billion. That is over $2,120 billion combined. You can not cut interest on the debt which is another $264 billion. Total federal spending is just $3,980 billion. Cutting the budget without cutting Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security would mean cutting an incredible 42.2 percent from everything else (defense, disability, welfare, school lunches, federal pensions, parks, federal payroll, etc.) Eliminating the budget deficit by raising income taxes and corporate income taxes would mean raising collections of both by 46.2 percent, which sounds equally implausible unless economic growth increases substantially from what we have seen over the last decade.
Congresswoman Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District. Roby is in her fourth term in the House of Representatives.