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U.S. National Debt:

Crapo, Risch Introduce Constitutional Amendment to Balance Federal Budget

Renewed push to amend the U.S. Constitution would force a balanced federal budget and fight growing debt

Washington, D.C.--With a looming battle over the nation’s debt and borrowing authority, U.S. Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch (both R-Idaho) joined Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Mississippi) and 21 additional Senators to introduce a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution to force the President and Congress to enact annual balanced budgets.


The joint resolution (S.J.Res.13) proposes a constitutional amendment to establish requirements for the submission and approval of annual balanced budgets, including guidelines regarding exceeding spending caps and raising taxes.  Crapo and Risch co-sponsored similar resolutions in the 116th and 117th Congresses.


“A balanced budget amendment to the Constitution would go a long way toward reining in runaway federal spending,” said Senator Crapo.  “Balancing the federal budget would require careful scrutiny of all programs funded by the American taxpayer.  We cannot spend ourselves into prosperity, and it is past time to put our fiscal house in order.”


“The federal government, like families across the country, should budget and live within their means. Unfortunately, the federal government repeatedly fails to do so, which has resulted in mountains of debt and a skyrocketing deficit.  To end the madness and move our country towards fiscal sanity, we need a constitutional amendment that would require Congress to pass a balanced budget and create guardrails to ensure that any attempt to raise the debt ceiling or raise taxes must be approved by a substantial percentage of Congress.  It is beyond time for our nation to follow the example of Idahoans and live within their means,” Senator Risch said.


The joint resolution would amend the U.S. Constitution to:


  • Require the President to submit a balanced budget;
  • Require Congress to pass a balanced budget;
  • Restrict federal spending to 18 percent of the Gross Domestic Product;
  • Require two-thirds majority votes in the House and Senate to raise taxes; and
  • Require a new three-fifths majority vote in both houses of Congress to raise the debt limit.


S.J.Res.13 also includes certain spending waivers for use during wartime or imminent danger to national security.  Full text of the legislation can be found here, and a one-pager can be found here.


Additional original co-sponsors of the measure include U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas), John Thune (R-South Dakota), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), Steve Daines (R-Montana), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming), Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska), John Hoeven (R-North Dakota), Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota), Todd Young (R-Indiana), Ted Budd (R-North Carolina), Pete Ricketts (R-Nebraska), Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina), Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi), Bill Hagerty (R-Tennessee), Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-Kansas), Markwayne Mullin (R-Oklahoma), Katie Britt (R-Alabama) and Mike Lee (R-Utah).