03.31.11

Senator Burr: “Time to Control Spending and Reduce Our Debt”

Burr joins fellow Republicans in introducing Balanced Budget Amendment

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) joined Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and his Republican colleagues in introducing a consensus Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. This amendment would bring much-needed fiscal discipline back to Washington and would put America on the path to a balanced budget within five years of ratification.

"Our national debt has surpassed the $14 trillion mark, and unlike American families across the country who are making tough decisions in order to make ends meet, Washington continues to spend money we do not have to the detriment of future generations," Burr said. "It is time for Congress to change its ways. I am proud to join with my colleagues in taking the necessary steps to control federal spending and reduced our debt."

The Balanced Budget Amendment would:
  • Require the President to submit to Congress a balanced budget that limits outlays to 18 percent of GDP.
  • Require Congress to pass a balanced budget and limit federal outlays to 18 percent of GDP.
  • Exceptions include:
  • Both houses by a two-thirds vote can provide for a specific excess
  • Both houses by a majority vote can provide for a specific excess during a declared war;
  • Both houses by a three-fifths vote can provide for a specific excess for a fiscal year during a military conflict declared to be "an imminent and serious military threat to national security" and the excess be limited to "outlays...made necessary by the identified conflict."
  • Require a two-thirds vote from both houses for any bill that raises taxes or otherwise "increases the statutory rate of any tax or the aggregate amount of revenue."
  • Require three-fifths vote from both houses to increase the debt limit;
  • Only a simple majority would be required during a time of declared war against a specific nation state.
  • Become effective the fifth fiscal year after ratification.