NLIHC joined 276 other organizations in signing a November 16 letter to Members of Congress urging them to oppose a balanced budget amendment (BBA) to the U.S. Constitution. “A balanced budget amendment is a recipe for making recessions more frequent, longer, and deeper, while requiring severe cuts that would harshly affect seniors, children, veterans, people with disabilities, homeland security activities, public health and safety, environmental protection, education and medical research,” wrote the organizations.
The House Committee on the Judiciary debated a resolution requiring a BBA amendment in June but such a resolution had not yet been brought to the House floor (see Memo, 6/17). On November 17, the House began debate on H.J. Res. 2, a resolution proposing a BBA to the Constitution. The resolution would require that government outlays not exceed the amount of receipts for the same fiscal year. One effect of the BBA would be to limit the government’s ability to stimulate the economy during a time of crisis. The resolution would also amend the Constitution to require a three-fifths vote in Congress to increase the nation’s debt limit and would require a majority vote to increase government revenue. On November 18, the House rejected the resolution by a vote of 261 to 165.
View the letter: http://nlihc.org/doc/Natl_Orgs_Oppose_BBA_Ltr_11-16-11.pdf
View H.J. Res. 2: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hjres2ih/pdf/BILLS-112hjres2ih.pdf