Annual balanced budgets sought by Tillis, GOP colleagues

U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) joined two dozen Republicans to introduce a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would require the president to submit a balanced budget every year and Congress to enact each of them.

“I’m pleased to cosponsor this balanced budget amendment, which would provide a long-term strategy so we can move forward as good stewards of hard-working North Carolinians’ taxpayer dollars,” Sen. Tillis said on Tuesday. 

Sen. Tillis is among 23 GOP original cosponsors, including U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-SD), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Steve Daines (R-MT), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Deb Fischer (R-NE), John Hoeven (R-ND), Todd Young (R-IN), and Roger Wicker (R-MS), who on Feb. 9 joined sponsor U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) to introduce Senate Joint Resolution (S.J.Res.) 13.

If enacted, the constitutional amendment under S.J.Res. 13 would establish requirements for the submission and approval of annual balanced budgets, including guidelines for exceeding spending caps and raising taxes. 

For example, federal spending would be restricted to 18 percent of the Gross Domestic Product, according to a one-page bill summary provided by the senators.

The joint resolution also would require two-thirds majority votes in both houses of Congress to raise taxes, as well as a new three-fifths majority vote in both houses to raise the debt limit, the summary says.

The resolution also includes certain spending waivers for use during wartime or imminent danger to national security.

“The federal debt now amounts to well over $30 trillion and, as interest rates continue to rise, so too does the cost for the federal government to borrow,” said Sen. Tillis. “Congress must halt its dangerous reliance on deficit spending and instead enact economically sustainable fiscal policies for the American people.”

The joint resolution has been referred for consideration to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.