Guest Editorial: Have your voice heard on a balanced budget amendment

By on October 1, 2011

Randy Hultgren U.S. Rep., District 14 (R)

Since the people of the 14th District chose me to be their representative in Washington last year, I have fought hard to bring accountability and responsibility back to Congress. Time and again, I voted to cut spending and reduce the size of the federal government, and I haven’t been shy about opposing others in my party when I felt that we weren’t doing enough to get our fiscal house back in order.

With every vote, I’m guided by the belief that Washington—like your family and mine, and like small businesses across the country— needs to live within its means. I know that the path to renewed and future prosperity lies through a return to fiscal sanity, and not by sad- dling our kids and grandkids with more debt. Less spending and less debt will help give small business owners and job-creators the confi- dence they need to hire and expand, putting

Americans back to work and getting our econ- omy moving again.

Unfortunately, this Congress’ efforts to cut spending are, on their own, insufficient. More importantly, any cuts we make today could be reversed by future Congresses. Long-term deficit reduction and spending restraint can only be accomplished through real structural changes to the way Washington operates. I believe that a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution is exactly the change we need.

I have been an outspoken advocate for a balanced budget amendment even before I went to Washington, and one of the first things I did after being sworn in was to co-sponsor a balanced budget amendment. A balanced bud- get amendment would force the federal govern- ment to spend only what it takes in, and is the surest path to fiscal sanity, less spending and a brighter future for our kids and grandkids.

Support for a balanced budget amendment.

is gathering momentum in Washington. In fact, as part of the debt ceiling increase in August, the House and Senate are required to vote on a balanced budget amendment this fall. If it receives two-thirds support in both the House and the Senate, it will be sent to all 50 states for ratification, where I believe it will find wide- spread support.

Congress has been here before. In 1995, they nearly passed a constitutional amendment mandating a balanced budget, but fell one vote short in the Senate. Sixteen years later, we have the chance to finally get it right.

But now we need to hear from you. If you want to share your thoughts on a balanced budget amendment, you can visit www.americaspeakingout.com and make your voice heard. Let me and other members of Congress know if you think, like I do, that a balanced budget is the best path to a brighter fiscal future.