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Gianforte Votes for Balanced Budget Amendment

April 12, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Montana Congressman Greg Gianforte today voted to amend the U.S. Constitution to require a balanced federal budget.

Before the amendment’s consideration, Gianforte spoke on the House floor in support of its passage.

To watch the video, click here.

Gianforte noted that the national debt has nearly quadrupled since 2001, and warned of the consequences of continued reckless spending. “We shouldn’t force future generations to pick up the tab for Washington’s voracious spending appetite,” Gianforte said. “The sobering truth is that, if we fail to make necessary spending reforms today, we will face a fiscal crisis.”

In urging his colleagues to support the Balanced Budget Amendment, Gianforte said, “The amendment will force the federal government to face the reality that households and small businesses face every day: You can’t spend more than you make.”

On Gianforte’s first day in office, he cosponsored the Balanced Budget Amendment, H.J.Res. 2. Also on his first day in office, he introduced the Balanced Budget Accountability Act which withholds pay from members of Congress if they fail to pass a balanced budget.

Requiring an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Balanced Budget Amendment did not pass on a vote of 233-184.

Gianforte’s remarks as prepared:

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate your leadership on this critical issue.

Washington doesn’t have a revenue problem. Washington has a spending problem – plain and simple. And it is past time we get our fiscal house in order.

The last time the federal government ran a budget surplus was about two decades ago. At the time, the economy was growing, unemployment was low, and Republicans controlled Congress. In 1997, Republicans cut spending and taxes, and for the next four years, the federal government ran a surplus.

Since that time, Washington has failed to live within its means. The national debt stood at 5.8 trillion dollars in 2001. Since then, it has nearly quadrupled to more than 21 trillion dollars.

But this issue isn’t just about the numbers. Ultimately, our kids and grandkids will pay for the federal spending we’re not willing to pay for today. We shouldn’t force future generations to pick up the tab for Washington’s voracious spending appetite.

The sobering truth is that, if we fail to make necessary spending reforms today, we will face a fiscal crisis. The only way out of such a fiscal crisis would be punishing tax increases and drastic cuts to important programs.

It’s time we take action to bring fiscal discipline to Washington and avert a fiscal crisis. If you’re in a hole, the quickest way out of that hole is to quit digging.

Amending the Constitution to require a balanced budget is how we quit digging. The amendment will force the federal government to face the reality that households and small businesses face every day: You can’t spend more than you make.

Let’s get on the record here. Should the federal government balance its budget? Should it live within its means like hardworking Americans who make the tough decisions about how to make their ends meet?

The answer is yes, which is why I have cosponsored and will vote for the Balanced Budget Amendment. I encourage my colleagues to vote for this resolution and begin to get our fiscal house in order.

I yield back my time.

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