Thursday, June 16, 2011
The House Judiciary Committee yesterday passed the balanced budget amendment, H.J. Res. 1, by a vote of 20-12. The move clears the way for full House consideration of the measure, but The Hill reports that some supporters say that's premature.
The proposed amendment doesn't just require a balanced budget; it does much more:
- It limits total federal expenditures for any fiscal year to 1/5 of GDP (unless 2/3 of each House agree to a higher limit);
- It requires a 3/5 majority of each House to increase the debt limit;
- It requires that the President's budget proposal be balanced; and
- It requires a 3/5 majority of each House for any tax increase.
The proposed amendment has an out whenever the U.S. is engaged in a military conflict and a threat to national security.
The proposed amendment needs a 2/3 vote in the full House, a 2/3 vote in the full Senate, and ratification by 3/4 of the States before it would take effect. This seems, well, unlikely.
[Image: CBO, http://www.cbo.gov/budget/budget.cfm]