(CNSNews) — When asked if Congress will ever balance the budget, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) pointed to the proposed and long-debated balance budget amendment as the proper means of doing so.
At the Capitol on July 26, CNS News asked Senator Grassley, “The federal government collected record taxes in the first nine months of this fiscal year, but still ran a $515-billion-dollar deficit. Will Congress ever balance the budget?”
Senator Grassley replied in the affirmative, insisting that the solution to the deficit can be found in his previous legislative efforts: “Yeah, when we pass a Constitutional Amendment requiring it.”
“I voted for it three times, maybe four times,” Grassley added.
The senator is referring to the “Balance Budget Amendment,” which he re-introduces to every new Congress.
According to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, “a balanced budget amendment would add a budget rule to the Constitution that would require federal spending not to exceed federal receipts.” In other words, “the amendment would make it unconstitutional for the federal government to run annual budget deficits.”
Senator Grassley most recently introduced the balanced budget amendment in January of 2021. He provides his reasoning on a Q & A posted on his website:
“Even during times of health and prosperity, Congress lacks the fiscal discipline to balance the books. In January, I reintroduced a balanced budget amendment, as I have every new Congress for years. Congress needs constitutional guardrails to put the federal government on a fiscally sustainable path with safety valves available for national emergencies.”
The first balanced budget amendment was proposed in 1936, according to the Congressional Research Service.
In 1995, a proposed balanced budget act passed the House but failed in the Senate by a margin of 64-35 yea-nay vote.
As reported in the Monthly Treasury Statement, the federal government collected a record $3,835,390,000,000 in taxes during the first nine months of this fiscal year, which began on Oct. 1, 2021. During the same period of time, the federal government has spent a total of $4,350,457,000,000, creating a deficit of $515,067,000,000. The current 2022 fiscal year will end on the last day of September.
The first day of the 2023 fiscal year will commence on October 1, 2022.
As of July 22, 2022, the total national debt was $30,529,873,257,653.04, reported the U.S. Treasury Department.
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