Senate signs off on balanced budget amendment resolution

LANSING—The Michigan Senate on Thursday approved a resolution officially calling for a federal balanced budget amendment, said resolution sponsor state Sen. Mike Green.

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 amendment would require that, like Michigan, Congress adopt an annual federal budget in which spending does not exceed revenues. The only exception would be in cases of national emergency.

“Under the leadership of Sen. Randy Richardville, the state Senate has taken this step to force Congress to do what families across America must do each and every day,” Green said. “Prioritize their needs, live within their means and balance their budget with a focus on the future.”

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

“We must put the brakes on the run-away federal government and get our nation's finances under control,” Green stated. “It will require tough choices but if we don't act now, we'll hand our kids and grandkids a country that is bankrupt and an economy on the verge of collapse. I don't know of any parent or grandparent that wants to do that. We can do better." 

Currently, the national debt is just under $17 trillion. That’s nearly $54,000 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 national economy. By 2017, estimates are that the debt will skyrocket to over $22 trillion. Much of the debt has been financed by borrowing from public trust funds like Social Security and Medicare to the tune of $5 trillion.

“My twin grandchildren are two and a half years old, yet before even starting kindergarten they are already on the hook for six figures of national debt,” said Green. “This is nothing short of financial insanity.

“We've waited years for the federal government to get its fiscal house in order permanently and it hasn't happened. Now is the time for the states to take leadership and act on behalf of American taxpayers and future generations.”

The resolution now moves to the House for its consideration.