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A Better Balanced Budget Amendment Can Succeed

Nov 9, 2023 by AFP

ARLINGTON, VA—Americans for Prosperity’s Senior Fellow in Fiscal Policy Kurt Couchman released a new report today setting out a path for Congress to advance a well-crafted amendment to the United States Constitution to require Congress to balance the federal budget.

Reckless spending has driven our national debt to almost $34 trillion, and the resulting inflation has forced Americans to suffer higher prices on everything from gas to groceries. Polling this year shows that 80% of voters support a constitutional amendment to require Congress to balance the federal budget within ten years. Yet while lawmakers have proposed balanced budget amendments to the Constitution for decades, Congress has yet to approve a proposal and send it to state legislatures for ratification.

In this report, Couchman breaks down the most common flaws that have kept Congress from passing a balanced budget amendment when the concept has such broad public support. He points to two newer balanced budget proposals in the 118th Congress that avoid the pitfalls of other versions. These approaches and complementary laws, he argues, would help restore fiscal discipline to federal budgeting and rein in excessive spending.

Couchman commented:

“An overwhelming majority of Americans support a balanced budget amendment to our Constitution as part of the solution to Washington’s broken budget process. Fortunately, Congress has not one, but two workable proposals to do just that. The principles-based BBA and the business cycle BBA are innovative, well- crafted solutions without the problems of other BBA proposals and offer feasible pathways to a balanced budget and fiscal responsibility.

“It’s time for Congress to consider a well-designed BBA as an opportunity to repair Washington’s fiscal management and to put the federal government on a path toward sound governance and broad-based prosperity for all Americans.”

Click HERE to read “Revisiting the Balanced Budget Amendment: Toward Designs Without Defects.”

Click HERE for the “Revisiting the Balanced Budget Amendment” one-pager.