Legislature approves Green petition for federal balanced budget amendment

LANSING—The Michigan Legislature on Wednesday approved a resolution sponsored by state Sen. Mike Green officially petitioning for a federal balanced budget amendment.

Senate Joint Resolution Vpetitions Congress to call a convention of the states for the limited purpose of proposing a balanced budget amendment (BBA) to the United States Constitution. The BBA would require an annual federal budget in which spending does not exceed revenues.

“Families across American make tough choices in order to balance their budget. Michigan balances its budget every year. It is time that Congress does the same.” Green said. “Prioritize their needs, live within their means and focus on the future.”

As a Joint Resolution, the petition does not require Gov. Snyder’s signature. However, the governor urged its passage and applauded Green’s leadership on the issue during his most recent State of the State Address. 

“If we balance our budget at home, we balance our budget at work, why can’t the federal government balance theirs?” Snyder stated following enthusiastic cheers and applause.

“Thank you [Sen. Green] for your hard work and I know you’re going to help lead that balanced budget amendment!”

Twenty two other states have already approved the resolution. Once adopted by fifteen more, it becomes binding on Congress to issue the call. Any BBA amendment proposed by the convention would still have to be ratified by three- fourths of the states before taking effect.

“If we fail to get our nation's finances under control, we'll hand our kids and grandkids a huge credit card bill, a bankrupt country and an economy on the verge of collapse. It is immoral and I don't know of any parent or grandparent that wants to do that. We can do better," Green said. 

The national debt is currently above $17.5 trillion. That amounts to over $55,000 per person of any age and around $150,000 per taxpaying age citizen. This debt is larger than the United States’ entire gross national product and is growing at a much faster rate than the economy. Much of the debt has been financed by borrowing from public trust funds like Social Security and Medicare to the tune of $5 trillion and from nations such as China.

During his remarks on the floor, Green specifically thanked the governor, the national Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force, Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville and House Speaker Jase Bolger for working to secure passage of the resolution.

“A federal balanced budget amendment is just one step to changing course and passing a nation on to future generations that offers even more opportunity than what we had,” Green commented following passage. “I’m proud Michigan is helping lead the way.”