On Nov. 18, Congressman Stutzman (IN-03) voted to amend the United States Constitution to include a Balanced Budget Amendment. Congressman Stutzman co-sponsored H.J. Res 2 which, on a vote of 261-165, failed to sustain the constitutionally required two-thirds majority.
“The past decades have taught us that ‘business-as-usual’ won’t get the job done,” Stutzman said. “We must force Washington to live within its means. The Balanced Budget Amendment we voted on today would have done just that. I’m disappointed that some members let politics trump principle.”
If approved by two-thirds majorities in both House and Senate and subsequently ratified by three-fourths of the states, the Balanced Budget Amendment would amend the Constitution to prohibit federal spending from exceeding federal receipts in any given fiscal year, with an exception for times of war. It would have required a three-fifths majority of both chambers of Congress to raise the debt ceiling. Under the amendment, the President would be compelled to submit a balanced budget proposal to Congress each year. Additionally, any tax increases would have required a majority vote.
Before the final vote, Stutzman urged his colleagues to support the amendment.
“Americans are looking to Washington, to see if leadership will come forward to do what American families do every day, what small businesses do every day – make sure that they don’t spend more money than what they have,” Stutzman stated. “When each child born today inherits nearly $48,000 worth of debt, something must be changed. My wife Christy and I have two young sons, Payton and Preston. They’re 10 years old and five years old and their lives are entirely in front of them. What we do today on this floor will determine the outcome for them and their family and for their children and for their grandchildren. This [national debt] has not been a problem that has happened just under the Democrats… this has happened over the last 30 years, under both Republicans and Democrats. That is why this amendment is so important…Washington has not done the right thing.”
“Debt is a disease and it threatens to kill us,” he declared. “Today we must act decisively and permanently and let the American people vote on our Constitution, to let them send their voice to Washington and say ‘enough is enough.’”