What Do Dems Have Against a Balanced Budget Amendment? | Speaker.gov

Support for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution has “continued to gain steam” as Republicans are “urging President Obama” to consider it as a solution to promote fiscal discipline and private-sector job growth.  The only problem is, the Democrats who run Washington “want nothing to do with it.”  Why?

  • The American people support it.  The Balanced Budget Amendment Washington Democrats “roundly dismiss” is backed by an overwhelming majority of the American people.  “By 72-20 percent, most voters favor a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” according to a recent Fox News survey.  74 percent of independents back the amendment. 

  • Economists & experts support it.  Economist Diana Furchtgott-Roth made the case for a Balanced Budget Amendment in an op-ed today, writing that “additional certainty about fiscal policy would make investment and consumption decisions easier, and would facilitate economic growth and job creation.”  David Primo of the University of Rochester and George Mason University told the House Judiciary Committee in May that a constitutional amendment would help ensure meaningful budget reforms “will not be undone by future Congresses.” 

  • Fiscal watchdogs support it.  Testifying before the House Judiciary Committee in May, Andrew Moylan of the National Taxpayers Union said, “what a BBA will guarantee is a more deliberative, accountable budgeting process that avoids the rash impulse to tax or borrow and encourages consensus-building toward spending.”  Citizens Against Government Waste has stated that a balanced budget amendment would “safeguard taxpayers and force Congress to balance the national budget.”

  • Democrats support it (or at least they used to.)  A number of Washington Democrats have supported a Balanced Budget Amendment in the past.  That includes Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), who said last March, “I happen to be for Balanced Budget Amendment.”  Over in the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has said in the past, “I believe we should have a constitutional amendment to balance the budget.”  This was said by Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL): “we need to move toward a Balanced Budget Amendment.”

Republicans support a Balanced Budget Amendment because it would do a great deal to help reduce uncertainty and create a better environment for private-sector job growth.  Today, Speaker Boehner called on President Obama and Washington Democrats to join our effort to send a Balanced Budget Amendment to the states:

“I’ve told the president that his debt limit increase can only pass the House if it includes spending cuts that are larger than the increase in the debt limit, that there are no tax increases attached to this, and that serious reforms have to be enacted to restrict future spending.  And I can’t think of anything that would do more to ensure such spending restraints are set in stone than implementing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.(VIDEO)

Despite all that, the White House says a Balanced Budget Amendment isn’t needed.  It isn’t?  Look at the spending binge President Obama has presided over: a 24% increase in non-defense discretionary spending and a $3.7 trillion increase in the national debt.   The need to change course is clear – the need to make sure we stay on a more responsible path is even clearer.