Balanced Budget Essay

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Shelby McIntosh Balanced Budget Amendment I do not believe that within the next seven years the United States Constitution will be amended to require the national government to balance its budget each year. While I believe that a balanced budget is necessary in order to avoid potential political and economic crises, the party division in the two chambers of Congress as well as the difficulty of amending the Constitution, pose a major obstacle this nation faces in order to do so. “A Republican balanced-budget plan would require Congress to balance the federal budget each year, cap spending at 18 percent of the gross domestic product, require a two-thirds vote of the House and Senate to increase taxes and require a three-fifths majority vote in both chambers to raise the debt limit” (Lengell). This, however, would pose to quite a challenge in an ever changing legislative system. Democrats currently have an advantage in the Senate as they occupy 51 of the 100 seats in Senate (Party Division). Republicans, however, currently have the advantage in the House of Representatives holding 242 of the 435 seats (House History). The party division between each chamber of Congress is likely to lead to passage of an amendment in one chamber but not in the other. In 1995, The House of Representatives passed a balanced budget amendment, however the Senate failed to do so by one vote. Somewhat recently in March of 2010, the issue of a balanced budget amendment arose again. A bipartisan congressional caucus was assembled in order to discuss and question the possibility of a balanced budget amendment. Republican Colorado Representative Mike Coffman and Democratic Representative Jim Marshall initiated a bipartisan congressional caucus with the sole purpose of reviewing House Joint Resolution 1, the Balanced Budget Amendment. The caucus is committed to

educating the members of Congress on the necessity and importance of the proposed balanced budget amendment to the Constitution...
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