House Committee Passes Balanced Budget Amendment Bill

On June 15th, the House Judiciary Committee approved a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, H.J. Res. 1, by a vote of 20-12. This bill would limit federal spending as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to not exceed 18%. The current federal spending to GDP ratio was nearly 24% in 2010. It would also require a 3/5 majority vote in both the House and Senate to raise the debt ceiling, with an exception in times of national emergency, and to raise taxes. This proposed constitutional amendment would require massive, unprecedented cuts in federal spending. It appears unlikely to pass this Congress, as any amendment to the Constitution requires approval by 2/3 of the Congress and 3/5 of state legislatures.
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