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House Rejects Goodlatte Balanced Budget Amendment

AP Photo / Andrew Harnik

Critics of Washington spending say something needs to be done to reign in the excess. One Virginia Congressman's push for a new constitutional amendment is being debated today.

Every year for the last decade, Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte of Roanoke has introduced the Balanced Budget Amendment — requiring Congress spend no more than it takes in. But it rarely gets anywhere.

After Republicans seized control of the House in 1994, a similar effort failed by one vote in the Senate. Now Congress is debating the idea again, and Goodlatte is hoping this will be his one of his lasting accomplishments in Washington after leaving next year.

“We should not pass on to our children and grandchildren the bleak fiscal future that our unsustainable spending is creating. The only way to ensure that Congress acts with fiscal restraint over the long term is to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment.”

Northern Virginia Democrat Gerry Connolly says the Republicans have a lot of chutzpah talking about a Balanced Budget Amendment after passing the Trump tax cuts.

“Which the Congressional Budget Office warned would increase the deficit by $1.6 trillion over ten years. So haven broken the bank and spent their way into default, they now want a balanced budget amendment to protect the rest of us.”

Seven Democrats voted for the amendment and six Republicans voted against it. Ultimately, the amendment failed to get the two-thirds majority it needed to pass the House. 

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.
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