“I have long believed that one of the few shortfalls of our Constitution is the omission of a requirement for the federal government to do what hardworking Americans do every day – balance a budget,” said Sen. Shelby.
The senator’s proposed amendment would require the federal government’s expenditures to be less than or equal to federal receipts in any fiscal year, except in times of war. The total amount of money spent in a fiscal year could not exceed more than 20 percent of GDP for the previous year.
In addition to being passed by Congress, the amendment would need to be ratified by three-fourths of the states.
“Our national debt recently surpassed $18 trillion, serving as a harsh reminder of the burden that will be placed on future generations if the federal government continues to operate on its unsustainable spending trajectory,” Sen. Shelby said. “Requiring Washington to balance its budget is a common sense policy that would reduce wasteful spending, restore confidence in our economy, and foster job growth.”
A balanced budget amendment is one of the objectives of the many conservatives who have advocated for a convention of the states, an idea that gained steam in the conservative grassroots community after talk show host Mark Levin advocated for a states-led convention in his book The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic.
This isn’t the first time Sen. Shelby has introduced legislation to balance the federal budget. In fact, Shelby has introduced a similar resolution in every Congress since being elected in 1987. While such an amendment has had slim chances in the past, Sen. Shelby’s position as chairman of the Senate Banking Committee could give the resolution’s chances a boost.
Like this article? Hate it? Follow me and let me know how you feel on Twitter!
— Elizabeth BeShears (@LizEBeesh) January 21, 2015