Cornyn to Urge Congress to Adopt Strong Balanced Budget Amendment in Heritage Speech
by John Cornyn on November 16, 2011 at 9:05 AM
Ahead of the upcoming vote in the House of Representatives, I will call on Congress to adopt a strong balanced budget amendment to the Constitution in a speech at the Heritage Foundation today.
The following are excerpts from my speech, as prepared for delivery.
“So what’s the difference between the fiscal challenges our Founders faced, and those we face today? The answer is pretty simple:
“Back then, federal government was the solution to the problem. Right now the federal government is the cause of the problem. And the American people understand the difference.
“The government now borrows more than 40 cents of every dollar it spends. Every child born in America today comes into the world as a debtor, to the tune of about $46,000.
“Our gross debt is now larger than the entire U.S. economy, which means we are now on the same trajectory as Greece, Italy, and several other nations, and we do not like where that path leads.
Supporting a Strong Balanced Budget Amendment
“The question that conservatives are asking is: what form of the BBA should we favor?
“My House colleagues have spent a good deal of time considering their options – by asking this question: Should they propose a ‘strong BBA’ like the Senate version that might not pass the House?
“Or should they go for a ‘clean BBA,’ without the spending and taxing provisions, and hope to win more support across the aisle - maybe enough to meet the 2/3 supermajority requirement in the Constitution?
“I have been telling my friends in the House to go strong for two reasons.
“First, a strong balanced budget amendment will actually solve the problem. Let’s all remember that the disease in Washington is out-of-control spending.
“Big deficits are just a symptom of that disease. As any doctor will tell you, treating the symptoms without treating the underlying cause of those symptoms will likely do nothing to help the patient recover, and could make things worse.
“A strong BBA will treat the disease along with the symptoms. An amendment with too many exceptions and loopholes will not.
“Second, a strong amendment will reassure financial markets and the American people that we get it. Think about the message that Standard and Poor’s sent us when they downgraded our credit rating earlier this year.
“The financial markets are looking for a serious, long-term solution to our fiscal issues. They are not looking for more empty promises.
“A vote for a strong BBA would send the message that we get it. A weak amendment might send exactly the wrong message.
“Successfully amending our constitution would go a long way to restoring faith in our system of government.
“It would give our children greater confidence that they have the power to address the wrongs they create or inherit, and it would expand political freedom for those who will follow them.”