Tuesday, Congressman Rudy Yakym (IN-02) introduced a Balanced Budget Amendment to the United States Constitution, the first legislation he has authored as a Member of Congress. Prior to introducing the Balanced Budget Amendment, Congressman Yakym spoke on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in support of his legislation and the need to get our nation’s fiscal house in order. Click here to watch Congressman Yakym’s full remarks from Tuesday:
“Mister Speaker, I rise in support of legislation I am introducing today: a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
“This is the first bill I am introducing as a Member of Congress.
“And it’s because I believe getting our fiscal house in order is the issue of our time.
“For the first time ever, we risk passing off to our kids and grandkids a country with fewer opportunities and less freedoms than the one we inherited. And our out-of-control debt is the reason why.
“What was a problem a decade ago is quickly becoming a full-blown crisis.
“We didn’t get into this mess because anyone thinks the path we’re on is sustainable.
“We got here because Congress has lacked the political will to do anything about it.
“That’s why we need to fundamentally reform how this place operates in order to get the outcomes Americans deserve.
“States across America are required to balance their books.
“In Indiana, we make responsible spending choices and exercise fiscal discipline every single day.
“It’s high time we brought that same Hoosier commonsense to Washington. And a Balanced Budget Amendment is the way to do it.
“So I encourage my colleagues to support my legislation and join me in the fight to restore fiscal responsibility.
“Thank you, Mister Speaker, and I yield back.”
Balanced Budget Amendment Provisions
- Total outlays for any fiscal year shall not exceed total receipts, unless three-fifths of Congress approves in a roll call vote.
- A debt limit increase requires a three-fifths roll call vote in Congress.
- Before each fiscal year, the President must transmit a budget to Congress in which total outlays do not exceed total receipts.
- Bills to increase revenue must be approved by a majority of Congress in a roll call vote.
- Congress may waive the aforementioned requirements if a declaration of war is in effect or if Congress declares that the U.S. is engaged in military conflict that causes an imminent and serious military threat to national security; national security waivers must specifically lay out the budgetary increases made necessary by the conflict.
- Congress will enforce the amendment and may rely on estimates of outlays and receipts.
- Total receipts is defined as all receipts except those derived from borrowing; total outlays is defined as all outlays of the U.S. government except for those for debt principal repayment.
- The amendment takes effect in the fifth fiscal year after its ratification.