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House Passes Bill to Require Plan to Balance the Budget

The House of Representatives today passed legislation that was co-sponsored by Congressman Bill Posey to require the administration to submit a plan to balance the budget. Below is Congressman Posey’s floor statement on passage of H.R. 444, the Require a PLAN Act:

“A nation that does not operate on a budget is plagued by irresponsible spending with bloated budgets, unfathomable debts and jeopardizes its long-term sustainability. That’s true of any family or business and its true of governments as well.

“Every state is required to have a budget and nearly all states are required to balance their budget. Sadly, the federal government has failed to operate on a budget for the past four years, and its past time for that to come to an end.

“In four out of the last five years, the President has failed to submit a budget to the Congress by the date required by law. Furthermore, each of those budgets, when eventually submitted, projected trillions of dollars in deficit spending as far as the eye could see. That is a recipe for national bankruptcy and it is morally wrong.

“You would not steal from your children or grandchildren and we should not let Washington do it either.

“That is why I rise in support of legislation that I have cosponsored, H.R. 444. This bill is really very simple. It requires the President to do what the U.S. House of Representatives has already done – pass a budget that balances.

“I am also hopeful that the U.S. Senate will do something that it too has failed to do for the past four years – pass a budget. Any budget! That will enable the House and Senate to do what is required by law: establish a budget for the U.S. Government and live within that budget.

“The House and Senate can have disagreements, but the Senate and the Administration need to go on record with their spending priorities so our system can work.

“In 1997, the Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution passed the House of “Representatives, but fell one vote short of passage in the Senate. That year the national debt was $5.4 trillion. Today it is more than three times that amount - $16.5 trillion. The debt burden for each American citizen has grown from about $20,000 to over $52,000.

“Back then, liberals in Washington said the same thing that they say today – that we don’t need a Balanced Budget Amendment to control spending and responsibly manage the nation’s finances. There are eleven trillion reasons to prove they are dead wrong. Washington needs a spending intervention.

“Earlier this week the Administration once again missed the statutory deadline for submitting a budget to Congress. It’s been four years since the Senate approved a budget. All the while allowing billions of dollars in wasteful spending to slip through the cracks further adding to our trillion dollar deficits.

“We need a responsible plan to bring federal spending under control and ultimately balance the budget. Washington can no-longer afford to fund itself on short-term stop-gap resolutions, last minute deals struck in the wee-hours of the morning and massive, ‘too big to read’ 1,000 page omnibus spending bills.

“Washington is literally charging away our children and grandchildren’s futures, depriving them of the opportunities that were so readily available to current and previous generations. Let’s pass H.R. 444 and set the nation on a more secure footing. Let’s act today, before we are actually confronted with the inevitable debt crisis to come, which we have been warned about and can avoid if we get serious.”

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