INHOFE, SENATE REPUBLICANS PUT FORWARD

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a leading fiscal conservative, today joined every Senate Republican in advocating for a Balanced Budget Amendment that would reign in federal government spending. 

“A long time ago, while I served in the Oklahoma State legislature, I received a call from then-U.S. Senator Carl Curtis from Nebraska,” Inhofe said.  “He had been trying to get a Balanced Budget Amendment way back then, but the liberals in Washington wouldn’t go along with it.  So, he was calling me to help him get state legislatures, like Oklahoma, to pre-ratify an amendment.  That was my first involvement with a Balanced Budget Amendment, and I have been fighting for it ever since. 

“Today, our country is in a terrible fiscal situation.  We’re spending money we don’t have while bankrupting our country’s future.  President Obama and the Democrats want to increase taxes.  Republicans want to have a balanced budget.  That is a clear and simple choice.   

“In the first two years of the Obama administration, he and congressional Democrats ran up deficits of $3 trillion, including the $814 billion stimulus that failed to stimulate.  Our $14 trillion debt is weighing down our economy.  Now is the time to get the Balanced Budget Amendment done.”   

Balanced Budget Amendment Supported By All GOP Senators:

Ø  Prior to each fiscal year, the President must transmit to Congress a balanced budget that limits outlays to 18 percent of GDP.

Ø  With the following limited exceptions, Congress must pass a balanced budget:

·         Requires 2/3 of both Houses for a specific deficit for a fiscal year.

·         Requires a majority of Congress for a specific deficit for a fiscal year during a declared war.

·         Requires 3/5 of Congress for a specific deficit for a fiscal year during a military conflict declared to be “an imminent and serious military threat to national security” and the deficit must be limited to “outlays…made necessary by the identified conflict.”

Ø  With the following limited exceptions, Congress must limit outlays to 18 percent of GDP:

·         Requires 2/3 of both Houses for a specific excess above 18 percent for a fiscal year.

·         Requires a majority of Congress for a specific excess above 18 percent for a fiscal year during a declared war.  

·         Requires 3/5 of Congress for a specific excess above 18 percent for a fiscal year during a military conflict declared to be “an imminent and serious military threat to national security” and the excess be limited to “outlays…made necessary by the identified conflict.”

Ø  Establishes new supermajority requirement for net tax and rate increases:

·         Requires 2/3 of both Houses for any bill “that imposes a new tax or increases the statutory rate of any tax or the aggregate amount of revenue.”

o   Excludes increases in revenue resulting from tax cuts.

Ø  Establishes new supermajority requirement for an increase in the debt limit:

·         Requires 3/5 of both Houses to increase the debt limit.

·         Requires a majority of Congress for a fiscal year during a declared war.

Ø  Provides for congressional enforcement and the use of estimates.

Ø  Prohibits courts from ordering revenue increases to enforce.

Ø  Becomes effective the fifth fiscal year after ratification.  

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