December 14, 2011
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a leading Senate fiscal conservative, today supported S.J. Res. 10, the Republican proposed Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This measure, which had the support of all 47 Senate Republicans, was one of two proposed Balanced Budget Amendments under consideration today in the U.S. Senate.
Under the Republican proposal, S.J. Res. 10, the Balanced Budget Amendment would require the President to submit, and Congress to pass, a balanced budget every year. The amendment also includes provisions that would prevent the federal government from growing unnecessarily by capping spending at 18 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and by prohibiting deficit spending, spending above the constitutional cap, and increasing taxes. In comparison, the Senate Democrat proposal, S.J. Res. 24, also requires a balanced budget submission, but it allows unlimited deficit spending whenever a 3/5 majority of Congress votes to allow it.
“Senate Democrats once again have stood in the way of enacting a constitutional mandate for fiscal responsibility,” said Inhofe. “Their refusal to pass a strong Balanced Budget Amendment highlights their reckless tax-and-spend philosophy. This approach not only threatens our economy but the future of our country. We are in grave danger of following the path of European countries like Greece and Italy that are currently facing an economic crisis because of their fiscal irresponsibility. We desperately need fiscal sanity in Washington and the Balanced Budget Amendment is the only way to permanently achieve that.”
Inhofe continued, “Since 1968, I have been advocating for a Balanced Budget Amendment. I still remember the day when then-Senator Carl Curtis from Nebraska called me to ask me for my support. Since then, I have been a tireless advocate in both the state and federal legislatures to ratify a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
“S.J. Res. 10 is the only acceptable long-term solution that will get our nation out of debt and keep it that way. It is a constitutional mandate for a conservative, limited government. The Republican proposal addresses our nation’s spending problem by mandating Congress to pass a balanced budget each year and to cut total spending to 18 percent of GDP. These spending cuts apply to every government program; nothing is exempted. It includes our entitlement programs, which are in desperate need of reform. Furthermore, the Republican proposed Balanced Budget Amendment permits the ease of spending and deficit restrictions during times of declared war and authorized military operations, but the amendment requires that these exceptions be both limited and fully specified. This Republican Balanced Budget Amendment is the right choice, and it will permanently keep Congress from spending money that we do not have. ”
Both resolutions failed in the U.S. Senate. The Republican measure was defeated by a vote of 47-53, and the Democrat proposal fell by a vote of 21-79.